On 18th April, Homeland Security Today reported that a surge in armed attacks against ships around West Africa is pushing up global levels of piracy and armed robbery at sea.  The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre recorded 66 incidents in the first quarter of 2018, up from 43 for the same period in 2017, and 37 in Q1 2016.  Worldwide in the first 3 months of 2018, 100 crew were taken hostage and 14 kidnapped from their vessels.  A total of 39 vessels were boarded, 11 fired upon and 4 vessels hijacked. IMB received a further 12 reports of attempted attacks.  The Gulf of Guinea accounts for 29 incidents in 2018 Q1, more than 40% of the global total.  Of the 114 seafarers captured worldwide, all but 1 were in this region.  All 4 vessels hijackings were in the Gulf of Guinea, where no hijackings were reported in 2017.  2 product tankers were hijacked from Cotonou anchorage in mid-January and early February, prompting the IMB PRC to issue a warning to ships. Toward the end of March, 2 fishing vessels were hijacked 30 nautical miles off Nigeria and 27 nautical miles off Ghana.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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