From: Inside Story

A private navy to fight pirates?

As Somali pirates extend their operation deeper into the Indian Ocean, Western security firms are taking action.

There is already a multi-national naval force patrolling the seas off Somalia. But is it enough?

There is evidence of pirates evading the patrols by spreading their activities east towards India and down south as far as the Maldives.
For the insurance companies, having already lost hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom payments, the answer is in the private sector.

They are considering a private fleet – about 20 patrol boats with armed guards, costing around $16mn – to escort ships passing through the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean.
Several shipping firms seem to be on board already, and even the British government is said to be considering the idea.
But who would control this private force – and pay its costs? And is military escalation at sea necessarily the answer to a problem whose roots lie in poverty and political chaos on land?

Inside Story, with presenter Teymoor Nabili, discusses with Simon Jones, the director of Triton International, which are partners with the Somaliland coastguard, Mohamed Gure, the chairman of Somalia Concern group, and Peter Cook, a former royal officer and founder of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, SAMI.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Wednesday, September 29, 2010.