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Hijacks and kidnaps

Somali piracy has receded to background levels as the effect of armed guards, Best Management Practice and the effective action of the coalition navies. However, the threat of kidnapping and hijacking remains high in places like the Gulf of Guinea and in the South China Sea.

Having crew kidnapped puts you as an owner under unique pressure. If the worst does happen, you will want advisors who have been through this and not only understand the regulatory picture and laws relating to ransoms but also how to deal with the families of those taken.

Like any incident at sea a hijacking will involve your insurers and P & I Club, and funding a ransom and moving money to the right place at the right time is not straight-forward. In Stephen Askins we have someone who is recognised as a market leader in this field, and who is used to working with an owner’s Crisis Management Team to help manage the recovery and evacuation of crew. Indeed we work together with a trusted well tested set of advisers and have a complete solution to a maritime kidnap or hijack with the safe return of crew in a reasonable time and without complications.

The recently passed Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 amended the Terrorism Act 2000 expressly prohibiting insurers from indemnifying an assured where funds are believed to have been paid to terrorists. We are used to working with your insurers’ compliance teams in ensuring that funds are not paid in breach of this or indeed any relevant legislation and money laundering regulations.