Nigerian waters remain dangerous as kidnappings continue in Gulf of Guinea

The Gulf of Guinea witnessed a continuation of the high levels of piracy seen in the first quarter of the year as 14 attacks occurred off the Niger Delta in April alone, resulting in the kidnapping of 10 crew from three vessels, according to data released by UK’s maritime intelligence and operations company Dryad Maritime.

Attacks by pirates in the Nigerian EEZ stopped in mid-May, however, the string of attacks was continued in early July following fresh attacks off Bayelsa State, which resulted in the kidnapping of the captain and chief engineer from the support vessel MV Prince Joseph 1.

The total number of incidents in the Gulf of Guinea reached 61, followed by the Southeast Asia region with 49 incidents, Dryad sad, adding that the Indian Ocean region saw a total of 14 incidents so far in 2016.

Southeast Asia saw a 66% reduction for the half yearly total when compared to the first six months of 2015, as there were a total of 49 incidents of maritime crime and piracy reported across the region during the first half. During the second quarter, which witnessed a total of 34 incidents, there was a return to vessel hijack with two vessels being attacked, and a further two cases of crew kidnap for ransom off the southern Philippines.

There were a total of four incidents during the last quarter related to theft in anchorages to the west of Batu Ampar, Batam Island, while the Singapore Strait area saw a massive reduction in petty theft.

With the exception of Jakarta, Indonesia no other ports around the region have experienced more than three incidents in the first half of this year. China as a whole has reported five incidents of petty theft at four different locations.

There were no instances of piracy in the Indian Ocean, High Risk Area (HRA) during the second quarter of 2016, according to Dryad. Opportunistic robberies continue in the Gulf of Kutch, with eight reported incidents in the Kandla anchorages and port in 2016.

Dryad’s latest data show that 68 crew were kidnapped so far in 2016, while 7 people were killed. The estimated total number of crew currently in captivity is 60.

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