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Pirate attacks: GoG account for 90% of global crew kidnapping in 2019 — IMB

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As Nigeria continues to lead global chart on piracy

By Godwin Oritse

Multinational maritime exercise begins in Nigerian waters

DESPITE the drop in the piracy   and sea robbery across the globe, the Gulf of Guinea, GoG, has remained a hotspot for criminal activities in Africa, the International Maritime Bureau 2019 piracy report has said.

According to the report, 162 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against vessels were reported between January and December 2019 as against 201 in 2018 representing 19.4 percent decrease. In the 2019 report, an unprecedented number of seafarers were kidnapped and taken hostage as a total of 134 crew were seized in 19 incidents.

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Part of the report read: “The Gulf of Guinea account for over 90 per cent of global crew kidnapping and has increased more than 50 per cent year-on-year. The kidnapping of crew is not just a phenomenon faced by one sector of shipping. All types of vessels have been targeted at various distances from the coastline.

“The last quarter has seen 64 crew kidnapped in the Gulf of Guinea in six separate incidents with 19 and 20 crew taken in two incidents in the first half of December. Both incidents were more than 100 nautical miles from the coast. Whilst contributing to the overall numbers, there can be no doubt that the Gulf of Guinea presents a serious and immediate threat to the safety and security of crew and vessels operating in the region.

“All four vessel hijacks occurred in the Gulf of Guinea along with ten of the 11 vessels that reported coming under fire. There has also been a recent spike in the activity in Singapore Straits with 11 of the 12 incidents for 2019 reported in the last quarter.”

From the report, Nigeria recorded a drop in the attacks against vessels on its waters as 48 vessels came under such attack in 2018 while 35 were recorded for 2019.

Other pirate prone countries that recorded incident of attacks include Indonesia with 36 recorded attacks in 2018 and 25 attacks in 2019 while in 2018, Peru recorded only four attacks against 10 last year.

According the report, Africa led other regions of the world with a total of 71 percent in pirate attacks followed by South East Asia with 53 percent, America 29 percent East Asia, five percent and Indian sub-continent with four percent.

Vanguard

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