Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

390 Costa Rica Private Security Companies Under Investigation

Costa Rica News   September 15, 2012

Go figure! These companies do little no no background checks on the people they hire, do not do proper training with the firearms they are given, and allow them to walk around “protecting” a certain business or area. Give a untrained person a firearm and do not do a psychological evaluation and bad things are going to happen.

The files are analyzed by the Directorate of Private Security Services of the Ministry of Public Security.

Andrew Olsen, head of the unit, explained that the anomalies are the use of weapons are that they are not registered, or are registered for a different person who carries it. Also, the guards do not have permits to carry these weapons in many cases.

Indeed, earlier this year, the company suspended the license to the company Diema SA and its owner after residential neighbors The Itaba in Curridabat Sanchez, interpose a series of complaints to the Prosecutor by threats and attacks.

Meanwhile,they initiated the process to determine if the permit should be revoked permanently from operating.

Yesterday, Olsen said that this is one of the cases that is under investigation, so he could not give details.

Director of private security services said there are other faults as “wearing uniforms similar to those of the police, which is forbidden.”

Please read the entire article here

September 15, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , | 1 Comment

Report by non-profit group criticizes UN’s growing use of military and security companies

By Associated Press, Published: July 10, 2012

UNITED NATIONS — A non-profit organization that monitors the United Nations published a report Tuesday criticizing the U.N.’s growing use of private military and security companies.

The Global Policy Forum said the U.N.’s increasing use of these companies is “dangerous,” may increase rather than reduce threats and attacks on U.N. buildings and personnel, and suggests a system that is “unaccountable and out of control.”

According to the report, incomplete U.N. data shows a steady rise in the number of security contracts from 2006-2007, with the value increasing from $44 million in 2009 to $76 million in 2010, the latest data available.

The majority of contracts in 2010 — $30 million worth — were for activities by the U.N. Development Program followed by $18.5 million for U.N. peacekeeping operations and $12.2 million for U.N. refugee activities, it said.

Please see the original and read more here

 

July 11, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, United Nations | , , , , , | Leave a comment

South Africa: Security Sector Tightens on Foreigners

All Africa  May 30, 2012

Refugees who have found employment in the booming security industry say the Private Security Industry and Regulation Authority (Psira) is pushing them out of the sector.

A foreigner working as a security guard for a company in Cape Town told West Cape News this week that dozens of fellow refugees had lost their jobs at the company due to Psira regulations.

Fearing that he could also lose his job, he said the trend for security companies to end the contracts of foreign employees seemed to be widespread as he knew of many other foreigners who were no longer able to work in security.

Psira’s regulations state that only South African Identity Document holders may be employed by registered security companies.

However, the security industry in the past has always been a major employer of refugees from the DRC.

Human rights lobby group People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty (Passop) said that over the past 12 months Psira had been clamping down on immigrants working in the sector.

Please read the entire article here

May 31, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Private Security Contractor | , , , , | Leave a comment

Private patrol boats to tackle Somali pirates

BBC Africa  May 29, 2012

The private company Typhon is preparing to operate alongside the world’s navies, offering protection to cargo vessels sailing around the Horn of Africa.

But unlike other private security firms which put guards on board other people’s ships, it will offer vessels of its own.

The chief executive of Typhon, Anthony Sharpe, says the plan is to rendezvous with cargo ships which sign up for their protection and form them into a convoy.

The company says it will establish what it is describing as an exclusion zone of one kilometre around the ships.

The company is buying three boats, which are currently being fitted out in Singapore.

Each of its craft will have up to 40 security officers, drawn from former British Royal Marines, as well as a crew of 20.

The ships will be fitted with machine guns and the staff will have rifles.

But Mr Sharpe told the BBC it is not a question of out-gunning the pirates.

“It’s not about lethal force matching lethal force,” he said.

“It’s more like applying a burglar alarm to the problem and the thief will be deterred – so will be looking elsewhere.”

Please read the entire article here

May 30, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Maritime Security, Pirates, Somalia | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SIGAR Report Finds Afghanistan Reconstruction Compromised By Security, Corruption

Dan Froomkin Huffington Post  April 30, 2012

An Afghan private security man, part of a private security company called Arya stands guard outside of a guest house in Herat west of Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 8, 2012. The push by Afghanistan's president to nationalize legions of private security guards before the end of March is putting multibillion-dollar aid projects in jeopardy and creating a shaky structure ripe for corruption and abuse, according to companies trying to make the switch.(AP Photo/Hoshang Hashimi)

WASHINGTON — Afghan reconstruction efforts remain severely hampered even after nearly $100 billion in spending over the last 10 years, according to a new watchdog report. The most immediate challenge seems to stem from the insistence by Afghanistan’s government that the private army of hired guns providing security for ongoing projects be replaced with Afghan locals, who do not appear to be up to the job, the report noted.

The latest quarterly report from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (or SIGAR) released on Monday also chronicles how corruption in the country shows no signs of having let up.

The report’s most urgent warning concerns the “imminent transition” from private security contractors (PSC) to the state-owned Afghan Public Protection Force.

Steven J. Trent, the acting special inspector general, expressed concerns that as many as 29 major USAID projects costing nearly $1.5 billion are at risk of full or partial termination “if the APPF cannot provide the needed security.” About half that amount has already been spent.

And whether it can is very much an open question, Trent wrote. The U.S. embassy, the Afghan government and the U.S.-led military forces agreed a year ago to check the progress of the Afghan Public Protection Force at the 6-, 9-, and 12-month marks.

“The 6-month assessment, completed in September 2011, found that the APPF was not ready to assume any of the essential PSC responsibilities to meet contract requirements — such as training, equipping, and deploying guard forces,” the report pointed out. “[T]he December assessment, which would have been at the 9-month mark, has not yet been made public” and “the deadline for the 12-month assessment has passed.”

April 30, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contingency Contracting, Contract Awards, Contract Solicitations, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Contracts Awarded, Department of Defense, ISAF, SIGAR | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philippines to allow private security guards on ships as anti-piracy measure

Philippine Daily Inquirer  January 30, 2012

Manilla, Philippines—The Philippines has given Manila-flagged merchant vessels the go-ahead to deploy private security groups to minimize the risk Filipino seafarers face from Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The move, however, is “subject to Philippine shipping companies” adherence to strict guidelines promulgated by the Maritime Industry Authority and the International Maritime Organization,” the DFA said Monday.

“In their participation at meetings to combat piracy in the IMO, the United Nations and other fora, Philippine government officials have been advocating the importance of promoting the safety of Filipino seamen. This advocacy is being supported by other governments,” it also said.

A total of 26 Filipino seamen on board three foreign-flagged vessels are still being held by pirates in east Africa.

“The longest one in detention is a crew member of the MV Iceberg 1, which was hijacked by pirates on Jan. 29, 2010 off the Port of Aden in Yemen,” the DFA disclosed.

Between 2006 and 2011, a total of 769 sailors from the Philippines were seized by pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. It is believed that all but the 26 were released unharmed and upon payment by their principals of ransom.

Earlier this month, the DFA said the government had come up with a plan to protect Filipino sailors from Somali pirates.

January 30, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Pirates, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues, Somalia | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Rise of Female Bodyguards in China

Minyanville by Stuart Wong  December 6, 2011

“There are times when women are stronger and better than men,”, explains Chen Hai Rong, just one in the growing ranks of female bodyguards in China.

As China continues to develop at a breakneck pace, the gap between the rich and the poor has also widened dramatically, and there is growing resentment towards those who have prospered.

Roughly a third of China’s burgeoning millionaire class is comprised of women, as the BBC reports, and many of them are now seeking protection, fearing that their wealth and status will attract crime.

And why a female bodyguard, instead of, say, a Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard-type? Wen Cui, a mercurial Chinese businesswoman who founded a personal security firm, Guodun, after noticing the gap in the market, explains that “female clients prefer women to their often burly male counterparts as they

Please read the entire article here

December 6, 2011 Posted by | Private Security Contractor | , , | 1 Comment

G4S Security officers accused of racially abusing asylum seekers

The Independent first revealed concerns about G4S last June including allegations that a criminal record was no bar to employment by the company

Oliver Wright The Independent UK  September 6, 2011

Private security officers removing failed asylum seekers and foreign national prisioners were witnessed by Government inspectors talking about detainees in “a shamefully unprofessional and derogatory” manner, a report reveals today.

Staff working for the chief inspector of prisons, Nick Hardwick, saw employees of the private security firm G4S using “offensive and sometimes racist language” on a flight to Nigeria.

Handcuffs and other restraint techniques were sometimes used inappropriately. Staff working for G4S were overheard referring to detainees as “gippos”, “pikeys” and “typical Asians”.

The report comes less than a year after a 46-year-old Angolan man died after being heavily restrained by G4S guards on a British Airways flight.

The Independent first revealed concerns about G4S last June including allegations that a criminal record was no bar to employment by the company and the use of restraint techniques such as “Goose Neck” and “Nose Control”.

Mr Hardwick’s report today comes after inspectors accompanied 104 staff who were escorting 35 detainees to Jamaica and 131 escorts who were removing 53 detainees to Lagos, Nigeria this year. They also reviewed records of previous removals.

The flights were chartered by the UKBA and G4S provided the guards. In his report on the flight to Nigeria, Mr Hardwick said that while most escorts worked in a professional manner, “escorts sometimes spoke to detainees in patronising terms”

Please read the entire story here

September 6, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, G4S, Private Security Contractor | , , , | Leave a comment

Security firm offers apology in bid to free Britons held in Eritrea

A security firm whose bungled mission in the Horn of Africa led to four British men being captured in Eritrea, and held without consular access for more than six months, has issued an unreserved apology in an attempt to hasten their release.

The Independent Africa

The men, two of whom are former Royal Marines, disappeared on Christmas Eve hours after their ship was intercepted by the Eritrean navy after an unscheduled stop at a port in Massawa. They were sent back to the mainland and put in jail. All were contractors working for the Hatfield-based security firm Protection Vessels International (PVI).

Yesterday the company said it “deeply regretted” the situation, issuing “an unreserved apology for any wrongdoing”. Eritrean television showed footage of the four men being paraded as well as shots of arms and equipment including rifles, handguns, GPS devices, bullet-proof vests, and satellite phones seized from the vessel.

Please read the entire article here

June 8, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, Private Security Contractor | , , , | Leave a comment

Let shipping companies defend themselves against piracy

Daniel Akst The Gulf Today

Private security contractors in Iraq have given the whole breed a bad name, but private security often works quite well. Armored trucks all over America, for example, collect and deliver cash using private armed guards at modest cost and with minimal bloodshed.

The Somali pirates and the merchant ships that ply the Indian Ocean have two things in common. The first, of course, is that they both make their living at sea. The second is that they lack sufficient incentives to change their harmful behaviour.

The pirates persist – with the help of criminal transnational investors and ever-more-sophisticated equipment – for the simple reason that piracy pays. Ransoms have been spiraling upward, totaling $238 million last year. The Indian Ocean is just too vast to effectively police, and too many ships are easy pickings. In short, the pirates have no reason to change course.

But the shipping companies apparently lack reason to change course as well. Their vessels aren’t sufficiently hardened against attack, perhaps because they can rely on the world’s navies for protection. And until recently, when pirate cruelty and greed began to get out of hand, they may have calculated that it was cheaper and safer to pay a ransom occasionally than take more drastic measures.

Is this behaviour harmful? Of course it is Please read the entire article here

March 3, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Pirates, Private Security Contractor | , , | Leave a comment

Securitas Says China License Process Slows Nascent Guard Market

Bloomberg

Securitas AB, the world’s second- largest provider of security services, has faced more difficulties than it expected in China, which a year ago allowed private security companies to start operations, Chief Executive Office Alf Goeransson said.

“The ramp-up in China is going very slow, unfortunately,” Goeransson said in a telephone interview today. “We had much higher hopes.” He declined to specify his growth targets, saying “the goal is to significantly increase” the company’s presence in China.

Securitas has hired about 300 guards in China since the country opened up for private security services at the beginning of 2010, Goeransson said from his Stockholm headquarters. Securitas’s ambition to expand faster is being held back by local governments’ “cumbersome licensing process,” he said.

The security industry’s growth potential in China is “fantastic,” with likely room for 4 million security guards, many of whom would work for international companies, Goeransson said in an interview last May. China is part of Securitas’s strategy for expanding globally. It aims to extend its presence to about 60 countries from 45 in three years.

The company, which competes with market leader G4S Plc, Please read the entire article here

February 13, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , | Leave a comment

Briton killed in north Iraq attack

Security Guard Killed in Iraq named

British private security guard killed by a suicide bomber in northern Iraq has been named.

Nicholas Crouch, 29, was escorting US Army engineers to a hospital under construction in the city of Mosul when his convoy came under attack at about 9am on Monday.

The bomber blew up a car packed with explosives, killing Mr Crouch and wounding three of his colleagues and five Iraqi civilians.

The Briton had worked for London-based private security firm Aegis in Iraq since January 2009.

Aegis said in a statement: “Aegis provides security services to a number of clients in Iraq, all of whom are engaged in regenerating the economy and rebuilding the infrastructure.

“At the time of the incident, the Aegis team was escorting project engineers from the US Army Corps of Engineers to a local hospital to review the progress of its construction.”

Sources say that two other western contractors – believed to be Americans – and at least one Iraqi contractor were seriously injured in the attack, while five passers-by suffered moderate wounds. All the contractors worked for the British company Aegis.

BAGHDAD — A Briton was killed in an attack on a private security firm’s convoy in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Monday, British government officials said.

“One British national was killed today during an attack against a convoy in east Mosul,” British embassy spokeswoman Sophie Farrell told AFP, without identifying the victim. Farrell said no other Briton was hurt.

The Foreign Office confirmed the death, saying the attack was on a private security convoy.

“A British national was killed in an attack on a British private security company convoy in Mosul this morning. We have offered consular assistance,” a Foreign Office spokesman said.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Iraqi side.

July 19, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Iraq, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

U.S. Sues Kellogg, Brown & Root for Alleged False Claims Act Violations Over Improper Costs for Private Security In Iraq

WASHINGTON, April 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The United States has filed a lawsuit against Kellogg Brown & Root Services (KBR) alleging that the defense contractor violated the False Claims Act, the Justice Department announced today. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, alleges that KBR knowingly included impermissible costs for private armed security in billings to the Army under the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) III contract. The LOGCAP III contract provides for civilian contractor logistical support, such as food services, transportation, laundry and mail, for military operations in Iraq.

The government’s lawsuit alleges that some 33 KBR subcontractors, as well as the company itself, used private armed security at various times during the 2003-2006 time period. KBR allegedly violated the LOGCAP III contract by failing to obtain Army authorization for arming subcontractors and by allowing the use of private security contractors who were not registered with the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior. The subcontractors using private security are alleged to have also violated subcontract terms requiring travel only in military convoys. The government’s lawsuit further alleges that at the time, KBR managers considered the use of private security unacceptable and were concerned that the Army would disallow any costs for such services. KBR nonetheless charged the United States for the costs of the unauthorized services.

“Defense contractors cannot ignore their contractual obligations to the military and pass along improper charges to the United States,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. “We are committed to ensuring that the Department of Defense’s rules are enforced and that funds so vital to the war effort are not misused.”

This case is being brought as part of a National Procurement Fraud Initiative. In October 2006, the Deputy Attorney General announced the formation of a National Procurement Fraud Task Force designed to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in government contracting activity for national security and other government programs. The Procurement Fraud Task Force is chaired by the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division and includes the Civil Division, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the FBI, the U.S. Inspectors General community, and a number of other federal law enforcement agencies.

Along with the Justice Department’s Civil Division, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Army Criminal Investigation Division and, FBI participated in the investigation of this matter. This case, as well as others brought by members of the task force, demonstrates the Department of Justice’s commitment to helping ensure the integrity of the government procurement process.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

April 1, 2010 Posted by | KBR, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iraq confiscates arms in private security crackdown

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Security forces confiscated hundreds of rifles, thousands of rounds of ammunition and other military gear in a crackdown on private security contractors in Iraq, officials said on Saturday.

Police raided three locations in Baghdad on Friday, a week after Iraqi authorities were incensed by a U.S. judge’s decision to throw out charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of killing over a dozen Iraqi civilians in 2007.

Officials said they are targeting private security companies that are no longer legally licensed to operate in Iraq.

“All those companies with their work permits expired are not allowed to move one meter inside Baghdad, or own one piece of weaponry,” Baghdad security spokesman Qassim al-Moussawi said.

He would not reveal how many unlicensed contractors were on the target list, or their names.

Authorities raided the headquarters of a foreign security contractor, whose name could not be immediately confirmed, on Friday night and confiscated 20,000 rounds of ammunition and more than 300 armored shields.

In another location they found 400 rifles, helmets, radio devices and more than 35 vehicles believed to belong to the same company, officials said. No one was arrested.

Private foreign security contractors played a major role in Iraq following the U.S. invasion in 2003, in many cases hired by the United States to guard diplomats and other officials. Iraqis accused them of running roughshod over locals.

For a time, the foreign guards enjoyed immunity from prosecution. That ended with a bilateral agreement that took effect in 2009.

The Iraqi government called unacceptable the U.S. court’s December 31 dismissal of charges against five Blackwater guards accused of shooting indiscriminately in a Baghdad traffic circle, and said it is taking its own legal steps against the company, now known as Xe Services.

Major General Hussein Kamal, Iraq’s deputy interior minister, denied that the Baghdad crackdown was a reprisal for the Blackwater case. He said the ministry had given a group of security firms ample warning to renew their permits.

“We have closed some of the companies and confiscated their weapons and vehicles,” he said, adding, “We are not reacting to the (Blackwater) judge’s decision.”

January 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment