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The Real Story Behind the ‘Somali Pirates VS Ship’s Private Security …

The Real Story Behind The 'Somali Pirates VS Ship's Private Security ...A team member of a private security team aboard the MV Avocet points his weapon at an incoming pirate skiff in the Arabian Sea, likely sometime in 2011.

We have come a long way since the height of Somali piracy when highly organized pirate gangs roamed the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean in search of merchant ships to hijack for multi-million dollar ransoms. During the most active years, from 2008 to 2012, armed pirates were attacking hundreds of ships per year[1], successfully pirating more than 130 vessels and taking their crews hostage some of whom were held captive for years[2] in the most abominable conditions imaginable. Fortunately, a combination of international naval presence in the region and private armed security teams contracted by the ship owners was successful in suppressing the scourge of piracy in Horn of Africa region. And while a spate of recent incidents bearing the characteristics of Somali piracy during its peak have been a cause for alarm, Somali piracy is far from the point it was at over a half-decade ago. So when a video posted last week by a supposedly pro-seafarer page showing a shipboard security team opening fire on an incoming pirate skiff went viral, we thought it was necessary to provide some context and/or details since absolutely none was given.

The video in question is titled Somali Pirates VS Ship s Private Security Guards and since it was posted last Thursday it has racked up over 12 million views, easily reaching YouTube s top trending list. It has also prompted some publishers to re-post as if this just happened. The problem is, the video is now more five years old.

Video Details

The video in question was originally posted online by an unidentified source in April 2012. Details of the video were not immediately clear in the original posting on LiveLeak[3], but in May 2012 Bloomberg was able to track down the video s origin[4] and shed some light on the incident after it sparked a debate about the guards use of of force, which many at the time called excessive. Here s the video in question:

[embedded content]

According to the Bloomberg report, the video first appeared at a shipping conference in December 2011 and was filmed by a team member from the Norfolk, Virginia-based private security firm Trident Group while operating aboard the MV Avocet, a 53,462 dwt bulk carrier owned by New York-based Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. In the Bloomberg article, Thomas Rothrauff, president of Trident Group, defended the team s actions, saying their operating procedures were legal and in full compliance with rules for use of force. In the report, Rothrauff even noted that at least some of the boat s occupants were probably killed or injured, although there is no way to know for sure. We re not in the business of counting injuries, Rothrauff told Bloomberg at the time.

Rothrauff added that the attack shown in the video was the second in 72-hours launched by pirates operating from a nearby mothership, and also said that the pirates in the video were returning fire, although it is somewhat hard to tell from the video. The report also noted that all of Trident Group s operations are shot on video, and the video is technically owned by the hiring company, which in this case is Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc.

So why the re-post now?

For one, Somali piracy is back in the news[5] after years of calm. In March, Somali pirates were able to hijack their first commercial ship since 2012[6] the oil tanker Aris 13. The vessel was released a few days later following a clash with local maritime forces and no ransom was paid. Since then, there have been a handful of other incidents that have added to the concern, but nothing compared to what we were seeing during the height of piracy. The good news, currently Somali pirates have no commercial vessels or hostages under their control. So, to the re-uploaders of this video, we say shame on you. While you may claim to be a group highlighting the lives of all those connected to the high seas. In our opinion, all you are doing is creating confusion by regurgitating old content, which you do not own, without context or details, and all for the sole reason of generating views and income. If you really cared about the seafaring community, you would donate 100% of the proceeds from video to any one of the number of charities helping seafarers and former hostages who are still struggling with the lasting effects of piracy on the high seas.

References

  1. ^ attacking hundreds of ships per year (eunavfor.eu)
  2. ^ held captive for years (gcaptain.com)
  3. ^ posting on LiveLeak (www.liveleak.com)
  4. ^ the video s origin (www.bloomberg.com)
  5. ^ Somali piracy is back in the news (gcaptain.com)
  6. ^ Somali pirates were able to hijack their first commercial ship since 2012 (gcaptain.com)

Thief Claiming He Has HIV Stabs Macy’s Guards With Hypodermic Needle: NYPD

Thief Claiming He Has HIV Stabs Macy's Guards With Hypodermic Needle: NYPD Robert Percodan’s mugshot from Feb. 3, 2017. View Full Caption[1]

NYS Department of Correction

MIDTOWN SOUTH A homeless shoplifter claiming to be HIV-positive stabbed three Macy s security guards with a hypodermic needle and bit another guard while trying to steal from the store, officials said. A security guard saw Robert Percodan, 25, put store merchandise in a bag and try to leave Macy s Herald Square[2] without paying for the items around 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, police and a complaint filed with the Manhattan District Attorney s office[3] said. When a guard confronted Percodan, he pulled out a hypodermic needle, the DA s office said.

I m going to stab you. I have HIV, he told the guard, according to the complaint.

Percodan then stabbed the guard in the hand with the needle before sticking two other guards who tried to subdue him and biting a fourth, the DA s office said.

Thief Claiming He Has HIV Stabs Macy's Guards With Hypodermic Needle: NYPD I m going to stab you. I have HIV, he told a security guards, according to prosecutors. View Full Caption[4]

Shutterstock

He was arrested and charged with three counts of assault in the second degree, one count of assault in the third degree, one count of robbery and one count of petit larceny, the complaint said. In 2015, he was sentenced to one to three years in jail for criminal possession of stolen property, according to state Department of Correction[5] records. He was released on parole in February, records show.

Following the attack at Macy’s, Percodan was transported to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric treatment, police said. He s currently being held at the Anna M. Cross Correctional Facility and is next expected to appear in court on April 25, city Department of Correction records show. His attorney and a spokesman for Macy’s did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday.

The New York Post first reported[6] on the arrest.

References

  1. ^ Robert Percodan’s mugshot from Feb. 3, 2017. (www.dnainfo.com)
  2. ^ Macy s Herald Square (www.dnainfo.com)
  3. ^ Manhattan District Attorney s office (www.dnainfo.com)
  4. ^ I m going to stab you. I have HIV, he told a security guards, according to prosecutors. (www.dnainfo.com)
  5. ^ Department of Correction (www.dnainfo.com)
  6. ^ reported (nypost.com)

Amnesty for refugees from Ebola-affected countries expires next month

T

housands of immigrants allowed entry to the US[1] to escape from West Africa s recent Ebola outbreak now face deportation, as the program that allowed them residence is ending. An estimated 5,900 immigrants from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone arrived in the US under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS)[2] program between 2014 and 2016. However the US Citizenship and Immigration Services confirmed this week that the program will expire May 21. The widespread transmission of Ebola virus in the three countries that led to the designations has ended, the agency said in a statement. The last new cases of Ebola in West Africa emerged in 2016. Today the World Health Organization is focusing on recovery efforts in the countries affected, including an experimental Ebola vaccine. [3][4]

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Lawrence Beah is one of those who came to the US under the TPS program. Beah and his family left Sierra Leone in 2014 during the Ebola outbreak. He sent his mother, sister, and other relatives to Mauritania. But before he could join them, Mauritania issued a travel ban on immigrants from Ebola-affected countries. Beah then traveled alone to the US, arriving just as the Department of Homeland Security established TPS, allowing people from Ebola-affected countries to remain in the US and legally work. Now Beah works as a security guard in New York.

Amnesty For Refugees From Ebola-affected Countries Expires Next Month

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With the end of an immigration program comes Ebola fears for West Africans in the US

Beah fears he will have to leave the US.

Mauritania will not let me in, Beah said, noting that country s recent wave of crime and terrorism[5]. He would have to return alone to Sierra Leone. I cannot get a job there, he said. More generally, Beah said, he feels less safe as an immigrant in America these days, although he he hasn t heard of any deportations of people with TPS documentation. Because I see people getting deported in other cases, he said, I cannot sleep, and I am afraid to go out anywhere. Immigrants and their advocates had hoped that TPS, which had been extended twice, could be extended again, perhaps indefinitely.

Beah and other West Africans are talking to immigration attorneys, hoping they can get green cards or asylum. But most of them don t qualify [to stay in the US] under any other category, especially now, said Amaha Kassa, executive director of African Communities Together, an immigrant advocacy organization in New York.

Advocates argue that the secondary effects of the Ebola epidemic remain a threat to the economies and health of affected countries like Sierra Leone. Many of the 11,000 people who died during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak were health care[6] workers, which has devastated the health care infrastructures of Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.

The damage from epidemics will take years to fix, said Kassa. The number of health care providers plummeted during these epidemics. There is also the loss of foreign investment in those countries, and there have been effects on the food supply and widespread malnutrition.

References

  1. ^ allowed entry to the US (www.statnews.com)
  2. ^ Temporary Protected Status (TPS) (www.uscis.gov)
  3. ^ emerged in 2016 (www.who.int)
  4. ^ recovery efforts (www.who.int)
  5. ^ crime and terrorism (travel.state.gov)
  6. ^ health care (www.who.int)
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