Protection Vessel International has released the Maritime Security Report for Week 18 of 2019. The report formulated on 21st May 2019 highlights the various security breaches that have happened over the past week.
Peru: Robbers board LNG tanker at Callao port
On 18 May, a group of about five masked robbers boarded an LNG tanker via the hawse pipe at 0055 hrs local time at Callao port. The robbers reportedly took a crew member on routine rounds hostage. Other crew members sounded the alarm and mustered. upon hearing the alarm, the robbers took the crew member’s radio and escaped on a small boat. The incident was reported to port control and a patrol boat was dispatched to the area.
PVI Analysis: There is an increased threat of piracy for vessels docked at Callao port. Robbers are frequently armed and tend to be violent during robberies, with crew often taken hostage. Robbers often target ships during the night to take advantage of reduced visibility.
India: Robbers steal from a tanker at Kandla Anchorage
On 9 May, a group of seven unarmed robbers boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker from a skiff at Kandla Anchorage at 2210 hrs local time. The robbers stole two cargo reducers from the midship starboard side manifold area. The master raised the alarm, sounded the ship’s whistle, mustered the crew and reported the incident to the ship’s agent, Marine Police, Indian Coast Guard, and Kandla port authority. The crew was not injured.
PVI Analysis: Robberies are common at Kandla Anchorage, particularly overnight when thieves take advantage of low visibility. Although some robbers are reported to be armed, instances of violence are rare, indicating thieves are predominantly armed for self-protection or intimidation.
Philippines: Speedboat approaches bulk carrier east of Baganga
On 10 May, an unspecified number of unidentified persons in a speedboat approached and closed onto an underway bulk carrier, around 115 nm east of Baganga. The alarm was raised, crew mustered, and fire hoses were pressurized at 0900 hrs local time. The persons were seen shouting towards the ship while holding steel hooks. After 30 minutes of chasing, the attacking party aborted the boarding attempt and moved away. The vessel returned to its route. Vessel and crew were reported safe.
PGI Analysis: Pirates intermittently target vessels underway and anchored at ports in the Philippines. Robberies typically occur overnight or in the early hours of the morning when robbers look to take advantage of reduced patrols and lowered visibility.
Indonesia: Robbers steal engine parts from the bulk carrier at Dumai Port
On 11 May, an unspecified number of unnoticed robbers boarded an anchored bulk carrier and escaped with engine spare parts at Lubuk Gaung Anchorage, Dumai Port. The 3/E noticed the robbery when he went to the engine room and found the spare parts room broken into at 1800 hrs local time. The alarm was raised and a search was carried out
Indonesia: Armed robbers board cargo ship east of Pulau Mapur
On 13 May, four robbers armed with long knives boarded a general cargo ship underway at 0210 hrs local time, around 4 nm east of Pulau Mapur. They managed to take the duty AB hostage and proceeded to enter the Master’s cabin. They then tied up the AB and the Master and escaped the vessel having made off with their personal effects and cash. Crew and vessel were safe.
PVI Analysis: Robberies at sea are regularly reported in Indonesia and many incidents are thought to go unreported. Assailants are often armed with knives but are typically easily deterred. Robberies typically occur overnight or in the early hours of the morning when robbers look to take advantage of reduced patrols and lowered visibility, underscoring the need for crew vigilance at all times while transiting the area.
Guinea: Armed robbers target anchored carrier in Conakry Anchorage
On 14 May, four robbers armed with assault rifles and knives boarded an anchored bulk carrier in Conakry Anchorage at 0142 hrs local time. They reportedly took the crew hostage, ransacked their cabins and stole ship and crew cash as well as other properties before escaping. The carrier’s Master was injured during the incident.
PVI Analysis: Piracy off Guinea is rare, although robberies at ports are intermittently reported. Robbers are frequently armed and tend to be violent.
Brazil: Police seize 1 tonne of cocaine at Natal Port
On 13 May, security forces seized 1 tonne of cocaine at the Port of Natal, northeastern Rio Grande do Norte state. The narcotics were seized from a Netherlands-bound container and were hidden in a fruit shipment. No additional details were disclosed about the drugs’ provenance or exact destination. Natal port is a key transit route for Europe-bound narcotics.
China: US warship sails in the South China Sea
On 19 May, a US warship has sailed near the disputed Scarborough Shoal claimed by China in the South China Sea, a US military spokesperson said. The destroyer sailed within 12 nm of Scarborough Reef. The operation was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing’s efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, where Chinese, Japanese and some Southeast Asian navies operate. China’s claims in the South China Sea are contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The operation also came amid a significant escalation in the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries in recent weeks.
Colombia: Navy seize 200 kg of cocaine in Acandí
On 18 May, Naval forces seized 200 kg of cocaine from a warehouse in Acandí municipality, Chocó department, in northwestern Colombia. Authorities also seized two motorboats during the raid. A navy spokesman confirmed the narcotics had been intended to be transferred to an in-transit cargo ship and shipped to Europe. Colombian authorities regularly seize large quantities of narcotics destined for European markets.
Colombia: Authorities seize 1 tonne of cocaine off Narino
On 19 May, Colombian authorities aided by US officials seized 1 tonne of cocaine off the coast of Narino department. Authorities seized the narcotics from a speedboat and arrested three individuals. The intended destination of the narcotics was not immediately clear.
Egypt: Police seize 10,000 blades at Ain Sokhna
On 15 May, Port police seized 10,000 prohibited blades from a container at Ain Sokhna port, Suez governorate. The items were imported from an unnamed foreign country and intended for a leather goods company, according to local media. Authorities report occasional contraband seizures at Egyptian ports.
France: Police seize 492 kg of cocaine at Dunkirk port
On 14 May, customs officers confiscated 492 kg of cocaine at Dunkirk port. It is the largest haul since January, police announced. The drugs were hidden in a shipment of bananas from Suriname. The seizure occurred in April, but the police only recently disclosed the investigation, local media reported. French authorities recently announced new policy measures to tackle drug smuggling from Suriname to France through French islands in the Caribbean.
India: New Delhi releases six Pakistani fishermen
On 17 May, authorities released six Pakistani fishermen who had been in jail in India for more than two years, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported. The move came after Pakistani authorities released over 350 Indian fishermen as a “goodwill gesture” last month. Incidents of fishermen being arrested after straying into either Pakistani or Indian waters are common, with poor relations between the two countries meaning there is often little opportunity to secure their release.
Libya: Navy intercepts 61 migrants off Zawiya
On 18 May, the navy intercepted 61 migrants aboard a rubber boat 60 miles off the town of Zawiya. The vessel had run into trouble at sea. The migrants were detained and handed over to the illegal migration unit. Libya remains a major departure point for migrants seeking to reach Europe, often in unseaworthy vessels.
Mauritania: Dock workers in Nouakchott on strike over working conditions
On 14 May, dock workers at Nouakchott’s Port de l’Amitié reportedly went on strike on 1 May to demand better working conditions. The strike has not affected operations at the port, according to RFI. The workers claim that they have not received salaries and were not assured healthcare services. The strike has previously remained unreported.
Uganda: Boat accident reportedly kills three, leaves tens missing on Lake Albert
On 19 May, a boat accident reportedly killed three people in Lake Albert, western Uganda. The state-owned New Vision newspaper reported that more than 20 are also missing. The passengers were traveling from Fofo in Hoima district to neighboring Runga for football matches. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear. Some local media reports suggest the boat capsized due to overloading and strong winds. Boat accidents in Uganda are common due to poor safety regulations.
Venezuela: Migrant boat sinks off Sucre
On 20 May, a boat transporting about 20 Venezuelan migrants sunk in the Caribbean Sea off the cost of Sucre state, government officials said. The boat was reportedly transporting illegal migrants to Trinidad and Tobago when it sunk. The number of victims was not disclosed but at least one of the passengers was rescued.
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