Scores of immigrants found on coast of southern Greek island

Greek authorities say more than 100 immigrants believed to have arrived illegally by sea have been found on the coast of Gavdos, an islet off the southern island of Crete.

The coast guard says the migrants, whose nationalities and state of health are not yet known, were spotted earlier Thursday by a passing merchant ship. So far, 145 people have been located, and there are no reports of others missing at sea.

Greece is a major entry point for refugees from war-afflicted parts of the Middle East and Africa, and economic migrants seeking a better life in the European Union.




BBC World: Jihadists 'using cruise ships' to reach Middle East war zones

Jihadists 'using cruise ships' to reach Middle East war zones

Militants' use of cruise ships is happening "more and more", Interpol said

Would-be jihadists have been travelling on cruise ships to reach conflict areas in the Middle East, Interpol has said.

The international police body said some of those trying to join militant groups in Iraq and Syria had used cruise lines to get to countries including Turkey.

It said checks to passenger lists should be extended from airlines to cruise operators before the issue became more of a problem.

No figures were put on how many militants had travelled in this way.

Speaking in Monaco, Interpol's outgoing chief, Ronald Noble, said countries should conduct checks on all passengers using airports "and, more and more, cruise lines".

Avoiding detection

The Turkish authorities say they have deported hundreds of suspected foreign jihadists in recent months after detaining them at airports and bus stations.

Interpol's director of counterterrorism, Pierre St Hilaire, told AP news agency that this had led prospective fighters to make alternative travel arrangements in an effort to avoid detection.


"Because they know the airports are monitored more closely now, there's a use of cruise ships to travel to those areas," he said.

Regular stops at ports in the region would allow prospective fighters to disembark undetected and make their onward journey to Syria or Iraq untracked by security agencies.

"There is evidence that the individuals, especially in Europe, are travelling mostly to [the Turkish coastal town of] Izmit and other places to engage in this type of activity," Mr St Hilaire said.

Interpol officials said the militants' use of cruise ships had emerged only in the "past three months or so".

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said passenger manifests were already screened and systems were in place to confirm passengers' identities.

"Cruise lines employ full-time security professionals, many of whom are former law enforcement officers, who are in regular contact with local and international authorities," said the CLIA in a statement.

A recent United Nations report estimated there were 15,000 foreign jihadists from more than 80 countries fighting with Islamic State (IS) and other extremist groups in Syria and Iraq.

"In order to prevent their travel and identify them, there needs to be greater information-sharing among the region, among national security agencies," Mr St Hilaire said.


Source: BBC World 

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Vessel Management System

Maritime security

Maritime security has become an important requirement for merchant vessels in today’s time. Increasing shipping piracy threats have resulted in huge losses for shipping conglomerates around the world. In order to tackle this problem successfully, many security companies have started to provide maritime security services, which are custom made for the present modern piracy at sea.


Across the world, there are many such maritime security companies which command a unique respect for the stellar security services they offer. A choicest few of such reputed companies can be listed down as follows:

1. Hart SecurityHart security provides an array of maritime protection services like consultancy facilities to protect marine valuables and abidance of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code). In addition, the company also provides extensive marine security training to international shipping conglomerates and government authorities.

2. Control RisksControl Risk offers security monitoring and inspection of ships and ports. The company also provides extensive security to check shipping piracy. This security measure includes appropriate prevention methods and prompt responsive services in case of any emergency scenarios. Along with these services, the company also offers emergency response and management services.

3. MUSCAn acronym for Maritime and Underwater Security Consultants, the maritime security services’ company has been providing the said services for the past 37 years. The company not only offers anti-piracy security, but also provides security services for subsea pipelines and ensures effective disposal of explosive materials. Services pertaining to marine environment safeguards are also provided by the company.

4. Hudson AnalytixThe Company offers a four-way marine security program that encompasses shipping organisations, ships, ports and onboard security services. The Company has been accredited as a Recognised Security Organisation (RSO) internationally. The Company’s extent of operations span around 1,800 vessels and 300 ports internationally.

5. MASTBased in Great Britain, the security company has its offices in countries like South Africa, Malta, Djibouti and Oman. It provides extensive maritime security services and is known for its detailed services in the most cost-effective manner.

6. Securewest InternationalSecurewest International is a company that provides marine security services not only to civilian ships but to naval vessels as well. The company provides vessel tracking, ship accompaniment and architectural security services.

The company is recognised internationally for its counter-piracy and ISPS preparatory services.

7. IMSAAn abbreviation for Independent Maritime Security Associates, IMSA offers maritime protection services not only against marine piracy but also against marine terrorism activities. In addition to these security measures, the organisation also offers requisite training in ISPS Code and carries out risk assessment programs.


8. Drum CussacThe marine security company provides services like Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) and Automated Piracy Threat Assessment System (APTAS) facilities. The company has gained accreditation from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for its excellent marine security servicing and is a member of SAMI – Security Association for the Maritime Industry.


9. MarsecThe maritime security services company offers marine protective services by way of detailed training programs to counter marine piracy. Along with the programs, the company also provides for security personnel aboard ships to ensure better vessel and crew protection. Marsec also collaborates with marine security forces of individual countries to achieve its security purpose better.


10. Neptune Maritime Security:  The Company’s security servicing is very unique as it offers customised maritime protection to counter maritime piracy. The Company’s security services are flexile and are offered based on the singularity and extent of a security threat.

11. STS maritime security:  STS SECURITY provides professional, fully licensed, highly trained Security Teams and manages all governmental permits, administrative interface and logistical support for security operations around the world.

With the aid of maritime protection offered by these companies, shipping conglomerates can be assured of plenteous security to its crew and cargo. Oceanic navigation routes are necessary and cannot be done without. Since shipping piracy has become an unchecked evil in certain water parts and is spreading towards other oceanic networks, opting for maritime security services has become a choice that cannot be overlooked

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