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Even as you read this book, mariners somewhere are being attacked by armed pirates, their faces masked and the weapons deadly. Organized crime has taken over where Blackbeard left off. Piracy today is just as brutal, perhaps even more so. Crew-members may be murdered, tortured, seized as hostages or simply dumped overboard to sink or swim. To the big-time gangsters behind much of the crime, life is cheap and must not stand in the way of profit. Attacking and stealing tankers or other cargo is a multi-billion industry. International law enforcement has yet to show sufficient concerted will to beat organised crime at sea, though it is awakening from its years of slumber. Additionally since 9-11, a new and fearful maritime threat has emerged- international terrorism. Experts agree that civilised nations, American ports and cities far from the sea, are vulnerable to a variety of terrifying risks from use of the sea and ships. The book looks at the dangers and what is being done to defeat the terrorists. The Brutal Seas brings to real life all the terror of an attack by pirates armed with rocket-launchers and automatic machine-guns.
It tells of disappearing phantom ships and of a cigarette fraud run by a fraudster from New Jersey. As it enters the mysterious world of the Triads, some of the most bloody, cunning and lucrative attacks, frauds and schemes of the past twenty years are brought to the page in an exciting and refreshing way. Written with an unprecedented degree of co-operation from the ICC International Maritime Bureau, a non-Government agency dedicated to tackling the problems, it is no surprize that The Brutal Seas has been called the benchmark on crime at sea by the Bureau's founder Eric Ellen.