Piracy Skyrockets in the Gulf of Guinea with 4 attacks in 7 days





Piracy Skyrockets in the Gulf of Guinea with 4 attacks in 7 days


Africa has always been one of the most treacherous waters in the world when it came to piracy. 'Pirates of the Caribbean' may have given the general public an overview of what piracy is, imbibed with humor, but the real-life scenario is quite different. It's life or death here, on the western coast of Africa, currently the world's number one place for piracy and all other shady activities related to the shipping industry.

West Africa's Gulf of Guinea has been topping the charts for quite some time now when it comes to piracy and crew kidnapping. From a different point of view, one could say that pirates simply lifted their business in and out of East Africa's Somalia, previously known for the same, and settled on the West coast instead.

Last week, nonetheless, things got a little bit out of hand, even for the pirates. A total of 4 cases has been documented in a sole week, stretching from November 26 to 2nd December.

In this week, a total of 14 crew members have been hastily captured from their ships, with the time gap between the two incidents being just 3 days.

The first incident occurred on November 26, when the general cargo ship MILAN was attacked and boarded by pirates, who then went to kidnap 10 crew members.

In a separate incident 3 days later, the Greek tanker AGISILAOS was ambushed and boarded by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea south of Lome, Togo, while it was en route from Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo, to Lome. 4 crew members including Filipino, Romanian and Russian nationalities were kidnapped, with pirates fleeing the spot henceforth.

And, the list goes on. Armed pirates stormed cargo vessel TANGO REY in Conakry Anchorage waters, Guinea. 6 armed pirates boarded the ship and looted the superstructure and the living quarters of the crew.

The last attack however shook the pirates quite somewhat. On 2nd December in and around Nigerian waters, the oil tanker Levanto was attacked by a host of pirates. Fortunately, the guards onboard thwarted the attack.

Kidnappings rose by 40% in the Gulf of Guinea in the first nine months of this year, and the region of West Africa's coast now accounts for 95% of global maritime kidnappings, as per data from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

Pirates armed with guns and knives attack everything from oil platforms to fishing vessels and refrigerated cargo ships.

Out of all the countries in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta accounts for the bulk of attacks on the said ships.