"Those ship owners and operators who have still not hired a highly-reputable private maritime security company continue to risk paying what amounts to an illegal tax in support of further organized maritime extortion," Watson sad. "It is a cost that ends up being borne by all of us."
Watson noted that the MV Blida, carrying 17 Algerians, six Ukrainians, two Filipinos, one Jordanian and one Indonesian, was overtaken by a gang of heavily- armed pirates on its way from Oman to Tanzania, with almost all the hostages freed after a bag full of cash was dropped from a plane to the captors.
"The fact that Rear Admiral Bob Tarrant, the Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force, has just issued a warning that Somali pirates still remain determined to get out to sea and attack easy targets should be a wake-up call for those still asleep at the helm of security for their companies," Watson added.
"Tarrant's observation that piracy's threat in the Gulf of Aden and elsewhere is not over, but is merely contained for now, means that the costs associated with world-wide shipping remain burdened by a transnational security threat that carries with it an unnecessary tax that unfairly buffets the maritime industry and those consumers whose life depends on the free flow of commerce."
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