04.05.2017

Weekly News Update

Credit: http://www.euronews.com/2017/04/23/local-global-security-firms-in-race-along-chinas-silk-road Photo: © Reuters

Pakistan (20.04.17): Two security guards from VIP Security Company, hired by Al-Sahara Exchange Company stole over Rs 12 million from the exchange company. It is known to be one of the biggest robberies of recent years in Karachi. According to SP Clifton Dr. Asad Malhi, one of the security guards was hired by the security company a week a go without proper verification. 

 

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China (23.04.17): Global security companies and their smaller Chinese rivals are jostling for business along Beijing’s modern-day “Silk Road”. Security firms hope to offer protection to thousands of Chinese workers, pipelines, roads, railways and power plants that will be built under the ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative. Firms like Control Risks and G4S offer staff with military backgrounds and years of experience in risky regions around the world. G4S claims that it has seen an acceleration of interest in its services since OBOR began gaining traction. However, smaller Chinese firms such as COSG, Shanghai-based Weldon Security and Dewei Security, see their advantage over multinationals due to the preference for hiring Chinese to handle security companies. It is estimated that 5,800 Chinese security companies operate overseas, focusing mainly on the domestic market.

 

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United Kingdom (24.04.17): The private security company, G4S, has been accused of creating a culture of intimidation by immigration lawyers after issuing a letter to asylum seekers warning they could be removed from the country. Jamie Bell, of the public law department at Duncan Lewis has declared that the behaviour of G4S is a misrepresentation of the company’s powers and a potential breach of their duty of care. Furthermore, retired immigration barrister and vice-chair of the Institute of Race Relations, Frances Webber, reported to The Independent that G4S are behaving as if they are working in the security sector. If they want to branch out into care provision; they need to recognise that is a different role that is not supposed to be penal.

 

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Paraguay (25.04.17):  Brazilian gangsters have taken armed robbery to a new level with a cross border attack on a Paraguayan security vault and police headquarters using automatic rifles, dynamite and anti-aircraft guns. According to The Guardian, their attack on the police was a diversion as another group attacked the headquarters of a private security company, Prosegur, stealing $8m of the $49m that was inside the vault. The governor of surrounding Alto Parana state, Justo Zacarias, explained that the premises of Prosegur had been destroyed in the attack causing chaos and terror in the city.  

 

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United States (25.04.17):  The Defense Department under President Donald Trump had employed thousands fewer private contractors for its wars in the Middle East. According to the latest quarterly report released by the Deputy Assistant Security of Defense (DASD), more than 42,000 private contractors, including translators, administrators as well as security personnel, are currently operating in the U.S. Central Command area of operations, down from 45,000 in the waning days of the Obama Administration. The owner of a private contractor currently operating in Syria claims that the security personnel he hired to protect his contractors also collaborate with American intelligence services operating in and around the country. 

 

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United States (28.04.17):  The Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5 fired the private security firm, DTH Protective Services; it had used to provide security at North High and Middle School after an incident involving spraying a student with pepper spray. According to reports, an exchange between a school official and the student in question arose from music playing from a mobile phone and some apparent difficulty in turning it off. The security guard sprayed the student with pepper spray twice, once after the exchange and another time after following the student into the school’s Career Center. Other students in the Center were also exposed to the pepper spray. The spokesman for the school district, Bill Clark, announced that he and the school did not agree with the actions of the security officer and determined that it was best to terminate the services with the security company.

 

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Colombia (02.05.17):  Colombia’s Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) has fined 7 companies in the private security and surveillance sector, along with 17 executives, for a total of more than $26 billion pesos ($8 million USD) for violating free competition regulations in public procurement processes.  The SIC discovered that the 7 sanctioned companies had formed a “de facto” corporate structure which they manipulates numerous contracting processes with different public entities.

 

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EU Parliament (03.05.17):  Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called for EU-wide rules on private security companies (PSCs). The EU estimates that there are around 40,000 PSCs, employing more than 1.5 million people and supplying services that range from logistical support through running prisons or providing protection, to combat support and supplying military technology.  MEPs suggest that the use of private contractors must be limited to logistical support and the protection of installations and only EU-based PSCs should be contracted for protection tasks abroad. The resolution on private security was approved by 50 votes to 6, with 1 abstention. The full house will vote on it at the June plenary session in Strasbourg.

 

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