As February election campaign approaches in Nigeria pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea are expected to increase so as to funnel ransom money into the campaign financing, Risk Intelligence’s Managing Director Hans Tino Hansen said Tuesday while speaking at a conference in Copenhagen.
Reuters cited the security advisor as saying that two “mother ships” belonging to pirates are currently located just south of Nigeria and five seafarers are know to be held hostage onshore.
“The ‘principal’ (protection money) system in Nigeria secures funding to political candidates, and because of that, we see an increase in offshore attacks,” he said.
According to Alex Vines from Chatam House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, “the crisis in Gulf of Guinea is all abut Nigeria.”
Piracy is deeply interwoven in Nigerian political systems, with state politicians and public figures constantly turning a blind eye to piracy as they fill their pockets with profits from it.
iracy and armed robbery in the waters off West Africa have become increasingly violent, often involving firearms, with cases of kidnapping for ransom also becoming more common.
Incidents have recently occurred as far south as Angola, and as far north as Sierra Leone.
World Maritime News Staff, October 8, 2014; Image: MUA