Nigeria records 7 attacks in Q1 as Southeast Asia becomes new piracy hotspot

Pirate attacks in Southeast Asia were more than double those recorded off East and West Africa combined in the first quarter of 2015.

Some 30 attacks were reported in the region, with 22 vessels boarded and six successfully hijacked while in Nigeria, seven attacks were recorded.

In Indonesia, where 21 attacks took place, IMB warned vessels were particularly vulnerable from pirates “normally armed with guns, knives and/or machetes” at anchorages in Tanjung Priok – Jakarta, Muara Berau, Nipah and Belawan, and off the islands of Bintan and Karimun.

“Many attacks may have gone unreported. Recent meetings between the Indonesian Marine Police and the IMB PRC resulted in positive actions by the Indonesian Authorities which had so far brought incidents down.”

Two further attacks were also reported in the Singapore Straits, one in the Malacca Straits, three in Malaysia and one in Thailand.

Meanwhile 11 attacks were recorded in Africa with seven boardings and two hijackings. In the Gulf of Aden and Somalia regions no incidents were recorded, which IMB put down to “the combined efforts of the Navies in the region, along with the increased hardening of vessels and BMP4 compliance, employment of Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP), and the stabilizing factor of the central government within Somalia”.

Concerning the attacks in Nigeria, IMB said, “Generally, all waters in Nigeria remain risky. Pirates are often well armed, violent and have attacked, hijacked and robbed vessels and kidnapped crews along the coast, rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters. Attacks reported up to about 170nm from coast.

“In many incidents, pirates hijacked the vessels for several days and ransacked the vessels and stole part cargo usually gas oil.”

In total, IMB recorded 22 pirate attacks on bulk carriers in Q1, with seven attacks on product tankers and four on boxships.

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