How Covid-19 has escalated the maritime drug trade – and what AI can do about it

HMS Defender and drugs haul

Adele Berti

Israeli maritime intelligence and predictive analytics company Windward is using artificial intelligence to identify and pinpoint Europe-bound vessels that might be illicitly carrying drugs for distribution in the continent.

Spearheaded by CEO Ami Daniel, a local entrepreneur with a background serving in the navy, the company bids to speed up the digitalisation of the maritime sector by offering a predictive intelligence solution that relies on AI and big data for a range of applications including safety, security and finance.

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Source: ship-technology.com

CTF151 and Pakistan Navy hold talks ahead of CTF Command takeover

Media release

The Turkish-led Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151) held a recent engagement with the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Ops) of the Pakistan Navy, two months ahead of the Pakistan takeover of CTF 151 command.

Rear Admiral Nejat Inanir of the Turkish Navy, the Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces’ CTF 151, followed the current Covid-19 trend of using Zoom conference calling to discuss matters of mutual cooperation and security in the region. Pakistan will be assuming command of CTF 151 in December for a record ninth time, marking this time as a key preparation period.

RAdm Inanir thanked the longstanding support and contribution of the Pakistan Navy to the Combined Maritime Forces for its provision of personnel and maritime assets which contribute to counter piracy operations in the region.

“I am so pleased to see Pakistan contribute to CMF so effectively. Their support aids how we maintain maritime security and ensure the free flow of commercial maritime trade,” said RAdm Inanir said. “We are seeing a large increase in small vessel activity now that the monsoon season is transitioning and it’s vital that CTF 151 continues to suppress any piracy activity early.”

Cdre Faisal commended the strong leadership of Turkish-led CTF 151:  “All support will be provided to CTF 151 for Counter Piracy Operations as and when required,” he said.

Both Commanders agreed to provide further assistance and collaboration to achieve their common goal of providing maritime security in the region and making the seas safe for legitimate mariners and seafarers.

The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is a multinational maritime partnership which exists to counter illicit non-state actors on the high seas, promoting security, stability and prosperity in the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman. CTF 151 is one of three CMF task forces with the mission to deter piracy across the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman, protecting the free flow of maritime commerce. Pakistan last led CTF 151 in 2016.

ENDS

 

Kenya to combat drug trafficking through review of private jetties

HMS Defender and drugs haul

(Xinhua) — Kenya plans to combat international drug trafficking and smuggling of contraband goods through the review, vetting and registration afresh of the nearly 700 private jetties and landing sites across the country, a government official said on Wednesday.

Fred Matiang’i, Cabinet Secretary of Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Security, told a forum in Mombasa that he was in consultation with his Transport counterpart James Macharia in a bid to review and register afresh all the jetties and landing sites, especially at the Indian Ocean coast.

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Source: xinhuanet.com

Indian Coast Guard arrests ‘pirates’

The Times of India reports today (Feb. 20th) that up to nine thieves boarded the MV Al-Marjo around eight nautical miles off the Pipavav coast on Wednesday 19th. Reportedly, the vessel was heading for a breakers yard when the group boarded her via a tug.

The ship’s crew sent a distress call and the Indian Coast Guard responded, with a patrol arresting the group and seizing their vessel. The matter has now been handed over to the local marine police.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

South Korea: Navy chief to visit unit dispatched to Strait of Hormuz

Persian Gulf/SoH

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Sim Seung-seob will embark on a trip to Oman and Thailand next week and visit an anti-piracy unit deployed to the Strait of Hormuz, the Navy said Friday.

The six-day visit, which will kick off Sunday, is aimed at boosting maritime security cooperation with the two countries and supporting South Korea’s broader pitch to expand exchanges with Southeast Asia, it said.

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Source: koreaherald.com

U.S. warship in Arabian Sea seizes suspected Iranian weapons

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Navy warship seized weapons believed to be of Iranian “design and manufacture,” including 150 anti-tank guided missiles and three Iranian surface-to-air missiles, the American military said on Thursday.

In a statement, the military said the guided-missile cruiser Normandy boarded a dhow, a traditional sailing vessel, in the Arabian Sea on Sunday.

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Source: reuters.com

MarsecNews: USNI has uploaded video of the incident:

Royal Australian Navy HMAS Toowoomba starts operations in Middle East

HMAS Toowoomba, via Wikipedia

As part of its mission, the warship will also support the International Maritime Security Construct to ensure freedom of navigation through the Strait of Hormuz.

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Source: naval-technology.com

BEL to enhance Indian coastal surveillance system

Bengaluru, Feb 10 (IANS): The state-run Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) would strengthen the coastal surveillance system for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) to heighten the country’s maritime security, an official said on Monday.

“The coastal surveillance system will be enhanced with 38 more radar stations and 5 command and control centres along the coastline for the ICG to step-up maritime security,” an official of the city-based defence enterprise told IANS here.

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Source: daijiworld.com

Extra security for Indian Ocean shipping no longer justified as East African piracy drops

As the threat of piracy off the East Coast of Africa declines, the significant security costs for transits in the Indian Ocean and through the Red Sea are no longer justified, according to risk intelligence firm Dryad Global.

In its annual piracy report for 2019, Dryad said there is little incentive for the insurance industry to remove its premiums that are linked to the piracy threat off East Africa in spite of the reduced threat. “Despite commanding the largest premiums and associated costs of armed guards, the Indian Ocean ranks fourth in maritime crime incidents with less than one fifth of incidents of the most active; West Africa.”

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Source: defenceweb.co.za

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