23 October 2014
Presentation | 07 Oct 2014

Status on the current security sitatuon in East and West Africa


Risk Intelligence CEO Hans Tino Hansen presented on the situation of maritime security in East and West Africa on Tuesday 7 October 2014 at the "Maritime Crime and the Effects on Growth and Development in the African Region" at
Clipper House, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The main message was that West African maritime security challenges are much more complicated than in East Africa. Furthermore, that 71% of all-piracy related incidents are directly related to Nigerian crime, while even more are originating in Nigeria. Up to the elections in February 2015 there is a risk of a relatively high level of kidnap & ransom cases.

In the Horn of Africa it was believed that 2015 will look a lot like 2014 with a very low level of pirate activity, but beyond 2015 it is not known if the decrease in naval operations combined with a reduction of measures implemented by the shipping industry may result in higher levels of piracy again as the capability, intent and opportunity is still in place.

Please find the presentation in PDF below:

Briefing | 11 Sep 2014

Ebola briefing for maritime operations in West Africa


Risk Intelligence has produced a briefing on the situation regarding Ebola in West Africa with a focus on shipping and maritime operations. It is available for download on this webpage.

The fact file examines the current Ebola virus disease (EVD) situation regionally and nationally in the greater West Africa region. It also examines the latest guidelines by international bodies and highlights any potential challenges. The coastal states spanning from Senegal to Angola are addressed in this report totalling 19 countries and updates will be conducted on a fortnightly basis. The contact number and emails are provided with the World Health Organization (WHO) liaison facility in each respective country below, as well as any collaborative focal point centres specifically dealing with EVD. The collaborative centres are testing facilities and research centres that are addressing containment and other specific medical issues. 

Press release | 20 Aug 2014

Conference: Maritime Crime and the Effects on Growth and Development in the African Region 7 October 2014


Throughout the last decade, maritime crime and not least piracy, armed robbery and hijackings have imposed substantial cost and used up a vast amount of resources in the maritime industry. Furthermore, these criminals are a constant threat to the crew and vessels essential to the world trade.

The potential growth in the maritime industry have been reduced by ingenuous villains with limited technical knowledge, limited seamanship skills and limited resources. Mitigation efforts are often reactive to the crimes committed and periodically the pirates and criminals have held the initiative. However, as some opportunities fade, new possibilities and growth markets arise.

To challenge the criminals of today and tomorrow and to seek new approaches to maritime security challenges we will host a seminar titled:  ‘Maritime Crime and the Effects on Growth and Development in the African Region’

Risk Intelligence, together with the Danish Shipowner’s Association and Oceans Beyond Piracy, supported by Danish shipowner Clipper, will host the seminar in Copenhagen during Danish Maritime Days on 7 October 2014.

This seminar will focus on how the shipping industry, the international community and African countries can work together to foster maritime security and economic growth and development.

Please visit the seminar’s webpage for an up-to-date agenda here Danish Maritime Days. Please remind that confirmation of your participation should be send no later than 26 September 2014 to the following address: bmn@shipowners.dk. If you have any questions regarding this event, please do not hesitate to contact us.

About Danish Maritime Days:
Danish Maritime Days is a major new event for the global maritime industry. It will bring together a broad spectrum of leaders from across the industry with the objective to find new solutions to the most important challenges facing the industry today and in the future. With many events – including conferences, briefings, exhibitions, symposia, company visits, receptions and dinners – planned throughout the week of 6-10 October 2014 – Danish Maritime Days will be an opportunity to meet peers from around the world, to make new connections, to be inspired and to pave the way for new partnerships. More information at: http://www.danishmaritimedays.com/ 

Press release | 25 Jun 2014

Hijacking for product theft in South East Asia is business as usual


Well-established local criminal syndicate diversifying its targets rather than undertaking new operations says Denmark-based security advisory and intelligence company Risk Intelligence.

The recent hijacking cases of coastal product tankers in South East Asia for the theft of their cargoes represents a diversification of the threat rather than a new trend.

“It’s a case of new diesel in old tankers,” says the CEO of Risk Intelligence, Hans Tino Hansen. “This type of piracy for product theft evolved in South East Asia and we’ve been following these sorts of cases and some of the syndicates involved for a number of years.”

Hijacking for product theft can be documented as far back as 1990s in South East Asia. The most active syndicate has usually favoured boarding the pre-selected targets in the same general location and always during the region’s dry season between March and October. 

‘’We believe that the majority of these incidents can be traced to a particular (and well-established) group based in the immediate area,” says Special Projects Manager and South East Asia analyst for Risk Intelligence, Karsten von Hoesslin. “They are diversifying in the product type they are stealing. If anything, this indicates their network is expanding within the illicit oil products market. But otherwise, with respect to modus operandi and patterns, it’s business as usual.’’ 

Risk Intelligence’s forecasts since 2011 have warned of an increase of reported hijackings for product theft in the South China Sea based on this seasonal pattern. Both the Johor and Miri coasts have been particularly highlighted as high risk regions.

 ‘’Despite the increase in activity and recent advisories, the vessels targeted are almost always pre-selected – suggesting an ‘inside man’ element to them – and solely targeting regionally managed and flagged tankers,’’ says von Hoesslin.  

Field surveys carried out by Risk Intelligence during the 2013 dry season revealed hijackings targeting both product tankers and tug and barges occurring approximately every fortnight in the South China and Java Seas by at least four well placed syndicates.  

Risk Intelligence has been analysing South East Asia piracy since 2006 based on extensive field surveys in the region.

For further information please contact:

Karsten von Hoesslin, Special Projects Manager, kvh@riskintelligence.eu

Hans Tino Hansen, CEO, hth@riskintelligence.eu 

A Tribute | 15 Apr 2014

Remembering the gifted field investigators Clément Gorrissen and Simon Davis

By Karsten von Hoesslin, Special Projects Manager, Risk Intelligence

On 7 April 2014, UNODC Consultants Simon Davis and Clément Gorrissen were fatally shot upon arrival in the immigration hall at Galkayo airport in central Somalia. The city of Galkayo, also known as a financial hub for piracy investors, is split between Puntland and Galmudug and its airport sits on the Puntland side of the border town, which has witnessed significant clan violence since late 2012 between conflicting Galmudug and Puntland militias.

The pair were in the process of meeting Somali government representatives from both Puntland and Galmudug State to discuss banking compliance and asset tracking with respect to proceeds deriving from Somali pirate ransoms. Whilst in the arrival hall awaiting immigration clearance, a uniformed police officer opened fire on the two consultants at close range wounding them fatally. Although initial claims have been made that the police officer suffered from ‘mental issues,’ the Somali government has launched an ‘investigative panel’ to determine the motive for the attack.

Simon Davis and I first crossed paths in 2009 at a piracy conference in London where he blew the audience away with his expert knowledge on illicit cash flows detailing the Somali Hawala system to perfection. It should not come as a surprise that two years later when I first met Clément at a UNODC-sponsored conference in Nairobi, I suggested that he and Simon connect to discuss the project that Clément was about to spearhead. They were the perfect team and have since provided a non-stop ground breaking contribution to the field of piracy and illicit cash flows.

At that conference in Kenya, Clément wittingly put me on the spot asking that I speak to the audience about my work tracking South East Asian organised crime syndicates as well as elaborate on a Risk Intelligence piracy database. At the time, Risk Intelligence was compiling its own special database on Somali pirate leaders, investors, and government personnel linked to the illicit business. Both Clément and I found an opportunity for collaboration and my and Risk Intelligence CEO Hans Tino Hansen’s relationship with Clément began to grow. Thereafter, Clément invited both Hans and I to high-level Contact Group meetings to give briefings on our work and mutual interests while Risk Intelligence hosted Clément at our headquarters in Vedbaek.

My relationship with Clément grew into a friendship. Although, upon reflection, we were more often like two passing ships in the night around the badlands of East Africa, we always had a secure channel of communication and marked hazards for one another along the way. Nevertheless, we did find ways to meet in the shadows of East African airports to enjoy a warm Tusker and compare notes before boarding flights in different directions. Clément was a master of operational security and could be trusted with anything, whether it was to help identify photographs of suspects involved in a hostage case I was handling or being aware of specific East African government personnel ‘on the take’ who we both kept a watchful (and often hesitant) eye on.

Simon was also a wealth of information pertaining to the Horn. He gave me the most accurate travel advice on Somaliland which included not only safe transit routes, housing, and medical facilities, but where to find the best cured goat dishes and of course, the most ideal exchange rates.

Upon learning of both Clément and Simon’s tragic deaths, it has been a non-stop investigation into my notes and correspondence looking for clues as to how this happened. But in truth, I now wish more then ever that I made the time for Clément’s invitations to attend recent conferences and enjoy one more coffee and conversation with both him and Simon.

Clément’s leading contribution to the field was Pirate Trails: Tracking the Illicit Financial Flows from Pirate Activities off the Horn of Africa. But the truth is that this was merely the tip of the iceberg, because he would have had a long and successful career investigating and tackling organised crime. Having shared his PhD plans with me, Clément truly had a gift for thinking out of the box and developing methodologies to uncover the darker secrets of organised crime that would otherwise remain unchecked.

Returning to being put on the spot at that conference in Nairobi, ironically, it was Clément’s impromptu curve ball and our side-line discussions that led to a significant change in my perception on Somali piracy, which also encouraged my quest to become more specialized and better qualified in the fields of forensics, interviewing and interrogation as well as psychological first aid. I truly owe him one for pushing my skillset- and in the right direction!

Clément was perhaps a closer friend to me then I have yet to realise as we individually trekked into the unknown with the best possible risk mitigation strategies yet still exposed to unpredictable threats. I can sense that he will forever remind me of both the passion in high-risk investigating and of the things we should hold close to our hearts when either at home amongst loved ones or in the remote darkness.

The last time we were all together was in an English pub with fellow colleagues who also knew them very well. We toasted, laughed and appreciated conversations twice removed from pirates and ransoms and were able to simply kick back and become closer colleagues.

Neither Simon nor Clément shall be forgotten and those who had the privilege of working with them will always remember how meaningful their contributions were and know that they had so much more to give.

To the lost! 

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