Anti Piracy Law In Cyprus

l8Cyprus is one of the most important maritime locations in the world. Precisely, Cyprus is the third biggest maritime fleet in the EU and the tenth biggest fleet in the world. The ideal geographical location of Cyprus between Europe, Asia and Africa and the considerable tax incentives constitute the island a market leader in ship management activities. Shipping is one of the most important sectors of the Cyprus economy. Therefore, maritime security is an essential topic that needs to be addressed. That is to say, it is mandatory for ship-owners to protect their vessels when sailing to dangerous areas.

The Protection of Cyprus Flag Ships from Acts of Piracy and other Unlawful Acts Law (77(I) 2012) provides the necessary legal guidelines for Ship owners, Bareboat Charterers and Ship-managers concerning the measures they need to take when they sail to High-Risk Areas and how they can employ private armed security personnel. In addition, it provides a legal framework concerning the engagement of Private Ship Security Companies (PSSC). It should be mentioned that the Law 77(I)/2012 is applicable internationally.

Security and Protection of the Ships:

The master of the ship and the ship’s operator are obliged to implement the required measures, in accordance with the provisions of SOLAS chapter XI-2, the ISPS Code and Regulation (EC) No. 725/2004 in order to ensure and maintain the security of the vessel and prevent unlawful acts.

According to Section 5(2), the master of the ship, the ship’s personnel and the other individuals on board of the ship may, separately or together, act in order to prevent an unlawful act. In other words, the master of the ship, the ship’s personnel and the other persons on board of the ship, when the ship sails in high-risk areas, may, separately or jointly, use every means so that to prevent an unlawful act that may threaten the security of the ship, or their physical integrity or lives, or may lead to the kidnapping of persons on board the ship.

Duty to Inform the Competent Authority:

The master of the ship and the ship’s operator have the obligation to report immediately to the Competent Authority any unlawful act or attempt to commit an unlawful act and to provide detailed information in regards to that act. In Cyprus, the competent authority is the Department of Merchant Shipping. Furthermore, the operator has to inform and keep updated the relatives of hostages and those injured as a result of an unlawful act.

When Should You Consider Hiring a Private Investigator

l7There are times you should consider turning to an investigator for help, and other times when a private investigator is really not what you need. Here are a few guidelines for you.

Good Indicators that You Can Use a Private Investigator’s Help

1. You’re a Lawyer.

Attorneys often use investigators to track down any details that the police might have missed when working on a case. The police represent the prosecutors, not the defense, so if an attorney believes she can find evidence that refutes the charges, she’ll hire a private investigator to root out the truth. Or, if the plaintiff believes that the police are purposely or accidentally failing to do a proper investigation, a private investigator can be used.

2. You Suspect Your Spouse is Cheating.

This is an unfortunate occurrence, but it has to be dealt with. Often, a spouse who is disenchanted with the marriage will seek an affair but hang on to the marriage for financial gain. It’s a sticky situation and because no actual crime is being committed by the simple act of adultery, the police don’t want to get involved. There could possibly be a conspiracy between the cheating spouse and his or her lover to defraud the jilted spouse out of money, and that would be a crime, but usually there is just the simple fact of adultery and it has to be proven, especially when there’s a pre-nuptial agreement in force.

3. You’re Defending Yourself Against an Unjust Accusation.

Sometimes people attack someone else’s reputation unjustly, and the accused can receive material damage, meaning that the damage to reputation translates to loss of business or other financial stream. But no matter the reason for the character assassination, investigators get hired to find out the truth behind the rumors and rancor. Often, this kind of back-stabbing perpetrator will back down once he or she finds out that there’s an investigator on the case.

4. You’re Running a Big Department Store.

It’s no secret that stores and other businesses hire investigators. They are extremely useful in detecting shoplifting, vandalism, and other losses that can cost in the millions depending on the size of the chain or the type of merchandise that’s being sold. These may or may not be set up as security personnel that you usually see posted at the doors. Often, the investigators are dressed in plain clothes and either circulate around the store or stay out of sight monitoring surveillance cameras.

5. You Want Information About Your Relatives, Predecessors, or Inheritance.

If you have missing relatives, a PI might be apt to spend more time and resources tracking them down for you. Or, if you suspect something has gone wrong with the process of handing down property, an investigator can help.

Here are some reasons you should not be using an investigator.

1. You’re Just Trying to Ruin Someone’s Reputation.

If you have a personal beef with somebody and you’re just digging for dirt to use against them, you might consider de-stressing another way and letting it go. Unless there’s been substantial financial or physical harm done to you, you could be better off investing in stress-relieving activities like sports, talking to a counselor, or meditation.

Anger is a very real thing and needs resolution, and many people seek to discredit the person that hurt them rather than learning the very real skill that will satisfy them and build a better life going forward, and that is the skill of using nasty things that people do to motivate them to succeed.

2. You Need the Police.

When there’s an actual crime involved, you’ve got to report it to the police. A PI can help you enormously in sticky situations that have a big effect on your peace of mind and life, but if you’re being stalked, threatened, or hurt in any way, it’s a police matter and you need to start using them to document abuses and interview involved parties even if you’re not ready to file charges. Sometimes, simply reporting abuse will stop it, but when it doesn’t, it never hurts to have reported all the priors so the records reflect them in a way that’s admissible in court.

Secure Your Documents Now

l6We all want our lives to be in order, and when we document the correct bits of information and find the proper storage modality for them, we create order and peace of mind.

Here are some categories of information you’ll need to store and where.

Life Records – Store in Safe Deposit Box

These are records that would be hard to replace if lost, and in some cases, could be harmful if in the wrong hands. For example, it might not be terribly difficult to replace a government ID card such as the social security cards provided in the U.S., but an identity thief would be delighted to have yours.

Here are some examples of life records: Birth, Death, Marriage, Naturalization, Military Service, Adoption, Divorce, and Dissolution records. In the USA, Social Security and Medicare cards.

Other examples include proof of ownership: Titles to house, car, boat, or camper are included here. You also may have proof of authenticity for paintings, works of art, or jewelry. You may have a copyright for a book or other intellectual property, or a patent for something you invented. You also may be in possession of a note (record of money someone else owes you). Your original stocks, bonds, and mutual fund purchase records can be stored here (if not at the broker’s office).

Original signed contracts or copies can also be kept in your safe deposit box, such as pre-nuptial agreements, wills, Living Trusts, insurance policies, lease agreements, and payment schedules for notes or mortgages. If you have financial records stored at the broker’s office or elsewhere, you’ll need a list of everything and where it’s stored.

You also might make a video of all your possessions and store an electronic copy in your safe deposit box along with an itemized list of the purchase price, date of purchase, purchase price, and current value of each item in your video.

Now that almost everything can be stored electronically, it’s very important to keep copies in separate locations. If you have a house fire that destroys your computer, that won’t be so devastating if your backup storage is located in the safe deposit box or a storage unit far from home. And those backup storages should be changed out on a fairly frequent basis to minimize loss.

Note that you’ll get two keys to the safe deposit box, so give one copy to a trusted person who doesn’t live with you. In case of your incapacity, a house fire, or a natural disaster, the other key won’t be destroyed and the holder of that copy will be able to access your records and take care of things for you.

Active Records – Store at Home

You have some records that are in use or may be in use at any given time. These include unpaid bills, resumes, recommendation letters, insurance policies, transcripts and diplomas, an inventory of everything in your safe deposit box, your bank books, a list of all your bank accounts and holdings, your business records if you work from home, and contact information of a person who can step in for you if you’re incapacitated. You’ll also want your burial instructions, warrantees, and guarantees in your active records.

Inactive Records – Store at Home

This is where you’ll store paid bills, cancelled cheques, past tax returns, past employment records, and family health records that may help you if you find yourself with a genetic condition.

Some of these items have been listed under two categories. That means that they could be stored in either location, or that you might consider taking a photocopy of at least the most important pages of those documents and storing them in two places.

Make sure and go through all your records at least once a year and possibly twice, mainly so you can find everything you need instantly and also so you can toss out or shred items you no longer need. Experts recommend January as a good time, since that’s the time you’re going to gather your tax information.

Five Things a Private Investigator Should Not Do for You

l5A Private Investigator has an interesting niche. Categorized as neither police nor entirely civilian, a PI can do certain things that police and civilians can’t. Let’s explore some of the things your PI should NOT be doing for you. If you find that he or she is, get out of your contract with them as quickly as you can and terminate the relationship.

1. A Private Investigator Can’t Break the Law.

For many people who believe everything they see on TV, a PI is a mysterious character who can take great liberties with the law in their country or jurisdiction. You’ve probably seen PI’s kidnap, hold people by force, beat up people to get them to talk, bribe officers, break into buildings, impersonate persons of authority to get others to talk, break into windows, photograph records without a warrant, etc. Basically, if it’s against the law, a PI can’t do it, even though there are certain privileges in some countries that come with being a PI.

2. A Private Investigator Can’t Wiretap and Is Not a Spy.

It’s illegal to record phone calls and conversations without informing the person being recorded, especially in environments where the person has a legal expectation of privacy. A PI might be more likely to be in a place where he can overhear certain conversations, because a PI can be on private property listening in as long as it’s not in violation of the law. If your PI is told to leave the property, either verbally or by a “No Trespassing” sign, and ignores that request, your PI is violating the trespassing laws. If you find out that your PI is recording people without their knowledge and you’re paying the investigator, terminate the contract immediately.

3. It’s Illegal for a Private Investigator to Impersonate.

If your investigator goes into a hospital, dons surgical scrubs, parades into a patient’s room, and proceeds to read the patient’s chart, that PI has just broken the law. Sure, you’ve seen it on TV shows, but that doesn’t make it legal and (hopefully) you won’t see any behavior like this in real life. Besides, it’s usually much easier to simply go to the hospital room, strike up a conversation with the patient, and get permission to glance at the chart. In real life, there’s almost always an easier, less dramatic way to get things done.

4. Your PI Must Not Trespass.

As stated above, your PI can’t break and enter, ignore “Keep Out” signs, steal evidence from any location, or just generally act sleazy. It only works in TV and movies.

5. Your PI Must Not Commit Battery.

If your PI grabs someone by the arm and tries to detain him or her, your PI is committing battery. Your PI will not get into nearly the number of fights you might expect him to. Your PI will use powers of observation and communication, not force.

With all these restrictions, you might wonder how much of the intelligence is gathered. It can be at the library, or via a series of interviews, talking with informants, and plain old surveillance. A PI usually tries to stay low profile, so communication skills are a must.

What CAN a Private Investigator Do?

1. In some countries, an officer cannot approach a private residence without reason.

That’s not true of a PI. The PI is certainly welcome to stroll up to the door just like any citizen, which makes it much easier for that PI to overhear certain conversations. While he might not be able to record them, it’s certainly okay to take notes. But the minute he’s detected and asked to leave, he must comply.

2. A PI Has Access to Certain Records that the Public Can’t Get.

This does depend on the country but in some cases a PI can access certain databases of banks, cell phones, property, and background checks that the general public can’t see. The only restriction is that the access needs to relate to a case that the PI is currently investigating. The PI is not a sworn officer, but there are some areas of trust that come if there is licensing.

3. A PI Can Stay Neutral in a Partnership.

Whether it’s a business or marriage partnership, a PI can be hired by one of the partners to investigate the other. There is no legal obligation to be loyal to both.