World's Piracy Danger Zone Moves to West African Waters

By John Dyer

March 19, 2014 | 9:45 pm


Yachtsmen would do well to avoid the coast of West Africa.

Stretching from Liberia to Gabon, the Gulf of Guinea has replaced the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia as today’s global hotspot for piracy, according to international insurance giant Allianz’s annual Safety and Shipping Review 2014.

The shift reflects how the world’s navies have been largely successful in their crackdown on Somali pirates in recent years. Whether they’ve been taking to the high seas in a desperate bid to earn a living or heeding the siren call of the Jolly Roger, many Somali buccaneers no longer want to pit their rickety wooden boats against well-armed helicopters and destroyers.

The crackdown at times has been more

Seguir leyendo

Piracy.- Oil Soaked Pirates in Gulf of Guinea



In the early hours of 18 January 2014 a 75,000-ton tanker, the MT Kerala, vanished off the coast of Angola. A sophisticated pirate gang hijacked the Greek-owned vessel, disabling its identifications system and communication equipment, and painting over its identifying markers.

More than a week later and 1,300 miles away, the hijackers released Kerala off the coast of Nigeria, after offloading 12,270 tons of its diesel cargo to other ships.

The Kerala hijacking marks the southernmost expansion of Nigeria’s pirate gangs, but represents only one subset of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. The waters of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea each suffered pirate attacks in the first week of 2014.

Off Nigeria—the epicenter of western Africa piracy—there have been at least 12 attacks

Seguir leyendo

IMB warns of West Africa piracy threat


Monday, 10 March 2014 | 20:40

The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is asking ships to be extra vigilant when transiting West Africa as piracy in the region becomes a growing concern. IMB’s Live Piracy Map shows that since the beginning of the year, one vessel, MT Kerala, has been hijacked and six were boarded in West Africa. There was also one attempted attack.

The hijacking of the Liberian-flag product tanker in January by Nigerian pirates has sparked fears these gangs are venturing further south.

In that incident, the pirates hijacked the MT Kerala off the coast of Luanda in Angolan waters.
The vessel was released by the pirates eight days later after the cargo was illegally transferred in a ship-to-ship operation along the West

Seguir leyendo