IMB: Piracy drops in Gulf of Guinea

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International Maritime Bureau (IBM), has said that cases of piracy incidents in the first nine months of 2021 were the lowest reported in 17 years.

It noted that at the other end of the scale, 51 crew members were kidnapped, eight taken hostage while one was killed

The Director of Information, Naval Headquarters, Commodore Suleman Dahun, disclosed this in a statement on Monday, in Abuja.

According to Dahun, the latest piracy report from the IMB released recently shows that 85 vessels boarded, nine attempted attacks, two vessels shot at and one hijacked.

“The bureau, while welcoming the decrease, repeats its ongoing warning for seafarers to remain vigilant particularly in view of high levels of violence against crew in many areas.

“The Gulf of Guinea region recorded 28 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in 2021 first nine months, compared to 46 for the same period in 2020.

“Notably, Nigeria reported only four, compared to 17 in 2020 and 41 in 2018.

“Crew kidnappings in the region dropped with a single crew member kidnapped in third quarter 2021, compared to 31 in five separate incidents during the same quarter in the preceding year.

“All 2021 third quarter incidents were against vessels at port anchorages and the average successful kidnapping location was 100 nautical miles from land.”

The director quoted IBM as saying, ”the overall reduction of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region beared testament to enhanced maritime security and response co-ordination measures adopted by regional and national authorities.”

He, however, added that the IMB did not mention in its statement piracy incidents, kidnappings, violence against crew or hijackings on the east coast of the continent off Somalia including the Horn of Africa.

“Going further east, the IMB notes 20 armed robbery incidents in the Singapore Straits, the highest since 2020 and four up on the 2019 number.

“Attacks are low level and opportunistic in nature with IMB warning perpetrators pose a direct threat to seafarers and vessels underway.

“In four incidents, crew were threatened, assaulted or injured. There was also a noticeable reduction in incidents reported from Indonesian waters.

“The six reported in the first nine months of 2021 is the lowest in Indonesian water since 1993.“