44 Seafarers Captured as Violence Rises in West Africa

Image Courtesy: Navy

44 seafarers have been captured so far this year amid growing violence off the coast of West Africa, new figures from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) show.

Worldwide, IMB recorded 37 piracy and armed robbery incidents in the first quarter of 2016, down from 54 in the same period last year. Three vessels were hijacked and 29 boarded, with 26 crew kidnapped for ransom and a further 28 held hostage.

With Nigeria and Ivory Coast accounting for two of the three hijackings recorded globally, and all 28 hostages, the Gulf of Guinea dominates world piracy in terms of numbers and severity. Additionally the region saw 16 crew kidnapped from chemical and product tankers in four separate incidents. Ten attacks were reported off Nigeria alone, all involving guns.

“Reports in the last quarter indicate unacceptable violence against ships and crews in the Gulf of Guinea, particularly around Nigeria. The current increase in kidnappings is a cause for great concern,” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB.

Region-wise, IMB noted ten incidents off India in the first quarter of 2016. The seaport Kandla in Western India reported seven of these – more than for the whole of 2015. They were predominantly low-level thefts by groups of armed robbers targeting anchored vessels.

No small product tankers have been hijacked in South East Asia so far in 2016, after a spate of attacks between April 2014 and August 2015, which has been ascribed mainly due to actions taken by the Malaysian and Indonesian authorities against pirate gangs in 2015.

Indonesia recorded four low-level thefts, a noticeable reduction compared to the 21 incidents noted in the first quarter of 2015.

The Philippines was the location of the third hijacking this year, after the two product tankers hijacked off West Africa.

There were no recorded pirate attacks off Somalia. However, as of 31 March 2016, suspected Somali pirates continue to hold 29 crew members for ransom.

Share this article

Follow World Maritime News

In Depth>

Events>

<< Jul 2017 >>
MTWTFSS
26 27 28 29 30 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6

Shipping2030 Asia

This year Shipping2030 Asia will take place with Global Liner Shipping conference, offering attendees unique access to networking with the container shipping industry…

read more >

Indonesia Marine & Offshore Expo (IMOX) 2017

Indonesia Marine & Offshore Expo (IMOX) 2017, Batamis an international maritime and offshore industrial event that brings an international…

read more >

Salvage & Wreck Asia

Could your business be affected by shipwreck? Are you a salvage professional or a wreck removal expert? …

read more >

DSM17

Donsö Shipping Meet 2017 is an all inclusive exhibition. Meals, electricity, meeting schedule and banquette dinner is included…

read more >