In yet another pirate attack, a group of armed pirates attacked vessels in West Africa prompting a warning from the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
In a report released by IMB showed that 66 incidents were recorded in the first quarter of 2018, up from 43 for the same period in 2017, and 37 in Q1 2016.
Globally, in the first three months of 2018, 100 crew members were taken hostage and 14 kidnapped from their vessels. A total of 39 vessels were boarded, 11 fired upon and 4 vessels hijacked and IMB received a further 12 reports of attempted attacks.
Most affected: Gulf of Guinea
In 2018 alone, the Gulf of Guinea accounted for 29 incidents in Q1, which is more than forty percent of the global total. Among 114 seafarers captured worldwide, all but one were in this region.
The Gulf of Guinea reported a total of four vessels hijackings, where no hijackings were reported in 2017. Two product tankers were hijacked from Cotonou anchorage in mid-January and early February.
IMB commented, “The hijacking of product tankers from anchorages in the Gulf of Guinea is a cause of concern. In these cases, the intent of the perpetrators is to steal the oil cargo and kidnap crew. The prompt detection and response to any unauthorised movements of an anchored vessel could help in the effective response to such attacks”.
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