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I don't know whether British boats are having trouble with pirates or not. In Spain pirates are big news. Somalian pirates currently hold captive a tuna boat called the Alakrana which was captured just over six weeks ago. It's not the first time that a Spanish boat has been captured but this time there is an added complication in that the Spanish Navy caught a couple of the pirates and the Spanish courts had them brought here for possible trial. So now the pirates not only want their ransom they also want their pals back. Instead of it simply being a negotiation between the ship owners and the pirates it has become a tussle between the rule of law and buying the pirates off. The families of the hostages have been kicking up a fuss and complaining bitterly that the Spanish Government has been sitting on its hands and doing nothing.

The link with Cartagena is that the Spanish Government has now given the green light to the ship owners to employ private security firms to put mercenaries on the boats armed with pretty serious hardware. Originally there was talk of employing a British security firm but the latest news is that the Spanish ships based in the Seychelles will have Spanish security guards. Indeed 54 of them flew out of Alicante airport yesterday on a plane chartered by the Spanish Government. The firm, called, Segur Ibérica had its people given a crash course in the use of its weaponary at a military training base in Cartagena.

P.S. They got the boat back today, Tuesday 17 November, all safe and sound.


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