Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Somali Pirates Ransom British Hostage Judith Tebbutt

Daily Beast March 21, 2012

On Tuesday afternoon, in the small inland Somali town of Adado, law enforcement officials gazed skyward as a single-engine aircraft circled close overhead. The plane—a U.K.-owned KingAir 200 operated by the British company Phoenix Aviation and reportedly chartered by the British private security firm Salama Fikira—dropped a sack containing an estimated $800,000 to $1 million in cash. The stash was ransom for 56-year-old Judith Tebbutt, a British citizen held hostage for nearly seven months by Somali pirates.

Adado has been a hotbed of hostage rescues this year: Navy SEALs staged a dramatic operation to recover American Jessica Buchanan from the town in January. Tebbutt had been in the pirates’ possession since September 11 of last year, when a Somali gang kidnapped her from an upscale resort in a remote region of Kenya near Somalia’s lawless border. During the abduction, the pirates shot and killed her husband, David; then slipped into a boat and glided north into the country that even locals call “the Land of Death”.

Tebbutt’s initial captors, a dozen or so fishermen and former hotel employees in the area, are thought to be originally from the Bajuni islands in Kenya, and are purported to have connections with the radical Somali terror group Al-Shabab. They sold Tebbutt to a second band of pirates based in Haradhere, on the northern Somali coast. The group that received the ransom this week was from the Ceyr and Saleeban—two parts of the large Hawiye clan—and the gangleader is known to be a man called Bashir.

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March 22, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Maritime Security, Pirates, Private Security Contractor, Somalia | , , , | Leave a comment

Brits arrested in Somalia with ‘£2.2 million ransom for pirates’

Three Britons, One American, two Kenyans, have been arrested trying to smuggle a cash ransom of more than £2 million into Somalia to secure the release of two hijacked ships from pirates

The Telegraph  May 27, 2011

The Britons, who are among a group of six foreigners also understood to include two Kenyans and an American – were allegedly caught with $3.6 million in cash at the airport in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.

Security sources told The Daily Telegraph that a private security firm, Salama Fikira, with a presence in neighbouring Kenya and Mauritius and ties to retired British military personnel, was involved in the operation. The British men were named by security sources as Andrew Oaks and Alex James from Salama Fikira and Mathew Brown from an aviation company.

The firm offers maritime crisis response resolution as one of its services. A spokesman for Salama Fikira declined to comment.

Somali police intercepted the six foreign nationals on Tuesday after they landed in Mogadishu in two unmarked planes.

A source told The Telegraph that the ransom was to be used to secure the release of two vessels, the Egyptian-owned MV Suez and the Chinese-owned MV Yuan Xiang.

Nick Davies, a maritime security expert with experience with Somali piracy cases, said those taken would most likely be private security agents but the route they had chosen was not one commonly used in the industry.

“It will be a risk consultancy-type operation and typically the guys doing it would be very experienced, military guys that have a clear understanding of the tasks they are going to be undertaking,” he said. “The arrests were probably down to an information leak that caught them out, not the way they were doing it or where they were going because it’s a regular thing.”

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May 26, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Pirates, Private Security Contractor, Somalia | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment