Monday, June 16, 2008


Back to the future:
A private French military firm has signed a contract with Somali authorities to boost security off the country's coast, plagued by high-profile piracy in recent years, the chief executive said Saturday.

Pierre Marziali, CEO of the firm Secopex, said the deal would "strengthen maritime business" off Somalia.

The deal, estimated to be worth between EUR 50 million to 100 million annually for the next three years, comes in the wake of the hostage-taking by Somali pirates of a French luxury yacht, the Ponant, in April. After a week-long stand off, all 30 crew members were released unharmed, but French special forces swooped on the fleeing pirates, capturing six and retrieving some of the ransom money paid.

....Secopex, founded in 2003, is involved in providing private security, bodyguards, and security advice and auditing. The branch based in Carcassonne, southern France, specialises in private military services to sovereign states.

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