(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency - Arabic) Kuwait has stationed special security personnel aboard national oil tankers to safeguard the vessels particularly when passing through piracy-infested regions, effective today (Monday), a senior official announced.
Bader Nasser Al-Khashti, Board Chairman and Managing Director of Kuwait Oil Tankers Company (KOTC), said in a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that the company had taken this decision after sensing "the risks and recurrence of the piracy operations in several regions around the world."
The company has worked out contracts with "specialized parties to protect its tankers with trained and armed elements to deal with such dangerous incidents," said Al-Khashti, alluding to pirates' recurring attacks on oil tankers and other vessels passing through some regions off Somalia and other countries.
The tankers had been secure, equipped with safety installations, to deter pirates, however, "this precautionary measure was taken for making full security for the tankers while sailing across the routes throughout the globe, " he explained.
Al-Khashti added in his exclusive remarks to KUNA that the special squads would board the tankers while sailing across piracy-infested locations and regions, and not necessarily throughout the whole journey, indicating that the authorities could plan, in the future, to charge national units with this mission.
On history of such attacks on national vessels, Al-Khashti indicated that the records showed only two cases, in addition to some other minor incidents, affirming the KOTC keenness on safety and security of personnel aboard the tankers, according to international regulations and standards.
Al-Khashti indicated that the deployment of the special squads aboard the tankers would repel potential pirates and make them think twice before daring to launch such assaults.
Kuwait now operates 24 oil and gas tankers.