Principality of Sealand
The Principality of Sealand is a micronation that claims HM Fort Roughs as its territory. It has been occupied and claimed as a sovereign state by the family and associates of Paddy Roy Bates since 1967. Sealand was invaded by mercenaries in 1978, but was able to repel the attack. In 1997, the Bates family revoked all Sealand passports, including those that they had issued over the previous 22 years.
About Principality of Sealand in brief
The Principality of Sealand is a micronation that claims HM Fort Roughs as its territory. Roughs Tower is a Maunsell Sea Fort that was built by the British during World War II. It has been occupied and claimed as a sovereign state by the family and associates of Paddy Roy Bates since 1967. Sealand was invaded by mercenaries in 1978, but was able to repel the attack. While Sealand has been described as the world’s smallest country, it sits within British territorial waters and is not officially recognised by any established sovereign state. In 1987, the United Kingdom extended its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles to internationally-recognised as British waters. In 1997, the Bates family revoked all Sealand passports, including those that they had issued over the previous 22 years. This was due to an international money laundering ring using the fake passports to finance drug trafficking and money laundering from Russia and Iraq. There were thought to have been about 150,000 Sealand passport in circulation at the time of this article’s publication, but this number has since been reduced to about 100,000. For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or see www.samaritans.org for details.
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