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Latest Gulf of Guinea piracy attack alarming, warns IMB
CreatedFriday, 12 March 2021
Created byJosh Lamorena
Last modifiedFriday, 12 March 2021
Revised byJosh Lamorena
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The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is urging ships and crew transiting the Gulf of Guinea to remain alert and not let their guard down following fresh reports that seafarers have been kidnapped from a tanker off Benin.
On 11 March pirates boarded a Maltese-flagged chemical tanker while underway about 210 nautical miles south of Cotonou and kidnapped 15 innocent crew members.
The ship had a crew of 21, and the remaining six seafarers are said to be on board and safe though unqualified to navigate the ship.
IMB says this attack could signal a reignition of serious kidnapping incidents in the Gulf of Guinea after a period of relatively low activity during the last four weeks after much focus was centred on heightened kidnapping activity in the region.
“This would be totally unacceptable, and there remains an urgent need to address this crime, which continues to have a direct impact on the safety and security of innocent seafarers. Flag States and seafarer nations are urged to voice their opinion and back the shipping industry in their continued efforts to muster an immediate and meaningful response to this criminal activity,” IMB says.
“We urge vessels and crew transiting the area to keep a vigilant lookout using all available means and to follow recommendations and guidelines in the BMP WA. Reporting of all incidents is essential to ensure that adequate regional or international resources are deployed to meaningfully address this crime,” IMB adds.
IMB data shows that the Gulf of Guinea recorded the highest ever number of crew kidnapped in 2020, with 130 crew taken in 22 separate incidents. This compares to the previous high of 121 crew kidnapped in 2019 from 17 incidents.
Crew have been kidnapped from all types of vessels with the most recent attack being the furthest recorded kidnapping incident.
Reports of piracy attacks can be made to the 24-hour manned IMB Piracy Reporting Centre.
Tel: + 60 3 2078 5763 | Fax: + 60 3 2078 5769
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
24 Hours Anti-Piracy HELPLINE Tel: + 60 3 2031 0014