Monday, September 28, 2009

Drug Ship destroyed

A report from the BBC this morning about HMS Iron Duke destroying a drug smuggling ship off the coast of South America acting on a tip off from US Coastguard. Five and a half tons of drugs were removed as well as the crew.

Hmm let me ask some questions that the BBC failed to do.

1) Where was the HMS Iron Duke? Was it in international waters or territorial waters?
2) What was the US Coastguard doing off the coast of South America?

So if they were in territorial waters were they there with the permission of that country and did they have permission from that country to act in this manner? Are drugs even illegal in that country?

If they were in international waters, by whose law were those drugs illegal? By what right did anyone have to seize both them and the crew?

The BBC reported that the ship was destroyed before it entered normal shipping lanes and caused problems. However the only reason it would do so was because the crew had been removed and no-one left to man it, nor drop anchor.

With both cargo and crew supposedly legally detained where are they being sent to for trial?

What is seems on causal inspection is that the US Coastguard illegally boarded a vessel, illegally seized its cargo, kidnapped its crew and then had the HMS Iron Duke illegally destroy the ship. Now if anyone else had done that they'd be called pirates. Anyway it be fun if the owner of the vessel sues for compensation.

[Update: The Sun (and so far only The Sun) states that this happened in the Caribbean so may well have been under our jurisdiction; not helped though by the BBC story illustrating the story with a view of South America highlighting Brazil and Argentina

The story is also a little confused with either the US Coastguard alerting the HMS Iron Duke or the Duke running interference for the US Coastguard]


Anonymous said...

There comes a time in every man's life when he has to get a life, talk bolocks, ask questions without bothering to look up any of the answers, and get 90% of his facts wrong. You appear to have suceeded on all counts my ill-informed friend.
Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that the US Coastguard and Royal Navy operate such opearations in international waters and come under international maritime law. If you read the papaers properly you would also see that the crew were arrested and removed before the vessel had mechanical problems and could not be re-started. I would also be interested to know how you think they could weigh anchor in international waters (minimum of 12 miles from land). The papers also stated that the crews were offloaded for trial both in their home countries and international laws courts in the US.
Maybe you have never had anyone you know affected by drugs or maybe you just don't care about the future of our children. The fact is that clearly some people do and are taking steps to remove some of the risks from our streets. By all means have a rant but at least have the common courtesy to get your facts right before you slag off the hard working guys who put themselves in danger to improve others lives.

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