maritime piracy

Private nickel-plated feet arrested in Senegal

(BRUSSELS2) There are four Britons, led by a former Royal Navy submariner, Chris Enmarch. And their desire was to offer oil tankers in need of protection in the Gulf of Guinea their protection against pirates and other attacks by sea bandits, who roam the area. Unfortunately, they were arrested by the Senegalese for “illegal activity”. It's the Daily Mail which tells their epic.

An old Omani stare

The 4 men had embarked on April 17, from Cornouaille, aboard the Defender, a former 127-foot Oman navy star, dating from the mid-1970s and decommissioned in 2002. Destination: Senegal for “propose to the authorities to act as a deterrent against illegal fishing" or "to act against piracy” (the versions differ a little depending on the moment).

Registered as a pleasure boat…

On April 23, near the seaside resort of Los Cristianos, in the Canary Islands, there was a blackout. A joint blew. Officers of the Civil Guard accost them. And the ship, which is a bit “suspicious”, is then escorted 50 miles to a berth in the port of the island of Santa Cruz by a warship of the Spanish navy. The Spanish explain having “ had suspicions ". The ship, which has two cannons and flies the British flag, is registered as a… pleasure boat!

Cannons just for show!

The captain has explained that the guns on his boat are " just for show and totally unusable ". Nothing works. The Spanish are not fooled. The inspection reveals irregularities in the ship's and crew's documentation as well as security deficiencies. A fine of 40.000 euros is imposed. The pavilion is confiscated. And orders are given to stay at the port of Tenerife. On May 31, taking advantage of the fact that the Spanish guards were busy elsewhere, the British headed off the English way... and took to the sea again. Before being arrested again, a few days later, this time by the Senegalese navy. Former British soldiers deny being “mercenaries”, just private individuals engaged in the fight against piracy.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).