Posts Tagged Lafras Luitingh

Film: The Project, By Shawn Efran And Adam Ciralsky

Now this looks like a cool documentary and it will be interesting to see the reaction to this film? It definitely has an interesting cast of characters that were interviewed for the film or were actual participants. Specifically, the folks from SCS and the good work they did to train and stand up the PMPF. Here is a quote from below.

Cast: Roger Carstens, Erik Prince, Lafras Luitingh, Rudolph van Heerden, Michael Shanklin, Matthew Bryden

What will really be cool is if they were actually able to capture some of the hostage rescue missions that the PMPF performed, with the help of Roelf van Heerden and his men. –Matt


The Project

The scourge of Somali piracy has been devastating the Middle East and North African shipping industries for nearly a decade. As a country with no functioning central government for over twenty years and no military training permitted under UN sanctions, Somalia has been largely powerless to curb the increasingly bold and violent actions of the pirates. Enter the Puntland Maritime Police Force, a secret paramilitary group of mercenary pirate hunters. Initially so undertrained and malnourished that members broke their own legs during marching exercises, the PMPF grows its numbers and hones its tactics under the watchful eye of former U.S. Army Special Forces operative Roger Carstens. It ultimately faces mutiny, death and political infighting in a dangerous quest to pull off the impossible: waging an epic battle on the high seas to rescue dozens of innocent hostages.

Featuring interviews with controversial Blackwater founder Erik Prince and the UN’s arms embargo monitor Matt Bryden, along with shocking firsthand footage from filmmakers embedded within the PMPF, The Project is a gripping, real-life war thriller exposing an unknown, anything-goes battle for control of the seas in one of the most dangerous places on earth.
—Cara Cusumano
Film Information Collapse
2013 | 90 minutes | Documentary Feature
Directed by: Shawn Efran and Adam Ciralsky
Language: English

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Industry Talk: Somalia TFG Cancels Contract With Saracen International

     Yarow said his government, which controls only part of Mogadishu in a country that has seen mostly anarchy for two decades, wanted assistance, but only from companies with distinguished records.

     “The Cabinet has today overwhelmingly voted against Saracen International,” Yarrow said. 

     Yes, but the Puntland contract is still in place. But as far as this contract, who knows who they will choose to replace Saracen? Whomever the donor country is, they are they ones forking over the money and will find a company the TFG can deal with.

    As for dropping Saracen purely because of Erik Prince’s supposed involvement, is pretty stupid if you ask me.  More than likely he was just advising the main planners.  I am sure his connections were useful as well.  But really, you use guys like this because they can see the whole picture and have experience with really dangerous projects.  And because someone else was paying for his services, why would the TFG care? Hell, that government needs all the help they can get, and here they are ditching a security training contract.

    Of course the media loved fueling whatever negativity they could.  Blackwater does not exist anymore, Xe has nothing to do with Saracen, and Erik Prince is doing his own thing in another country.  And yet as soon as Prince was mentioned in some report (that I have yet to see), all of a sudden Saracen International becomes the new Blackwater. Pffft. Meanwhile, islamists and pirates win another one. –Matt

Edit: 01/28/2011 – Check out the story I posted in the comments.  The reporters at the Associated Press are really going off on this deal. All I can say is bravo to the Puntland government for not being influenced by a biased media.

Somalia cancels military training project linked to Blackwater founder

By Mohamed Sheikh Nor

January 27, 2011

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somalia’s government decided on Thursday to cancel an agreement with a private security company linked to the founder of Blackwater Worldwide to train Somali forces to go after pirates and insurgents, a senior official said.

Deputy Security Minister Ibrahim Mohamed Yarow told The Associated Press that the Cabinet, meeting behind closed doors, ended the agreement with Saracen International in a decision he said is “irrevocable.”

The AP reported last week that Erik Prince, whose former company Blackwater Worldwide became synonymous with the use of private U.S. security forces running amok in Iraq and Afghanistan, had quietly taken on a new role in the project to train troops in lawless Somalia. Blackwater guards were charged with killing 14 civilians in 2007 in the Iraqi capital.

Yarow said his government, which controls only part of Mogadishu in a country that has seen mostly anarchy for two decades, wanted assistance, but only from companies with distinguished records.

“The Cabinet has today overwhelmingly voted against Saracen International,” Yarrow said.

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Somalia: Saracen International Signs Contract With TFG For Training Anti-Terrorist Forces

   According to the agreement, the training which the company is providing includes anti-terrorist training program to train the State’s police and security forces in providing anti-terrorist protection services. The number of the force has not been disclosed.

     Also other types of training in the agreement include training armed body guard, chauffeur and guard training program, as well as VIP protection, special event security, aviation and maritime security and mailroom security services training program.

     Very cool and congrats to Lafras Luitingh and gang for winning this contract. It will be very interesting to see how this land based contract works out.  Could we potentially see a Somali Police force similar to that of Koevoet? I hope so, because pirates and jihadists will be quite the challenge for this police force if they plan on surviving or being effective. Also, a Koevoet style police force would be pretty cost effective if done properly.

      Hell, if this police force was allowed to seize assets from these fat cat pirates, the government could add an element of incentivized warfare to the game. They could also infuse money into the government by splitting up this prize, and help to fund further security measures. –Matt

Edit: 01/20/2011 Now it is reported that Erik Prince was one of the original investors and consultants of this contract. No confirmation yet from Prince. (I posted the article in the comments section)

“According to a Jan. 12 confidential report by the African Union, Mr. Prince “is at the top of the management chain of Saracen and provided seed money for the Saracen contract.” A Western official working in Somalia says he believes that it was Mr. Prince who first raised the idea of the Saracen contract with members of the Emirates’ ruling families, with whom he has a close relationship.”

Somalia signs training deal with private security firm


MOGADISHU — Somalia’s fragile government said Friday that it had signed a deal with a private security company, Saracen International, a firm that has been criticised by the US government.

“The agreement the government engaged with Saracen International covers training security guards … and some humanitarian tasks including renovating places like hospitals and other buildings,” said information minister Abdikarin Hasan Jama.

Hasan Jama said the arrangement had no connection with company’s activities in the neighbouring breakaway region of Puntland.

The funding for the deal would come from other Muslim countries, Jama said without specifying.

Puntland contracted Saracen International to assist in its crackdown on pirates, many of whom operate from the territory’s lawless coastal regions and target shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

The US State Department earlier this month criticised the arrangement, saying it lacked transparency and could potentially violate a 1992 UN Security Council arms embargo on Somalia.

Story here.


Saracen International To Train Somali Anti-Terrorist Forces, Government Announces

23 December 2010

The Somalia government disclosed it has signed an agreement with a private security company based in Beirut, Lebanon to train police and security forces.

In an exclusive interview with VOA Somali Service, Finance Minister Hussein Abdi Halane said the agreement was signed in late October between President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Lafras Luitingh Chief Operations Officer for Saracen International. Luitingh is a former.

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