West Africa is not only one of the world’s most important shipping routes but it is also the global epicenter of maritime piracy. The Gulf of Guinea has seen an increase in piracy in recent years. Nine out of ten piracy attacks and kidnappings for ransom reported in the Gulf of Guinea.
On 26th of November, an attack occurred at the anchorage in Conakry, Guinea. It happened so Turkish cargo ship TANGO REY was robbed, six armed pirates boarded the ship and looted the superstructure, living quarters, taking with them all personal and ship valuables that they could find. Crew members are reportedly safe.
The following piracy attack took place on the oil products tanker “Levanto” sailing under the flag of Liberia. According to the Global Dryad the pirates approached the vessel at around 13:00 on December, 2 in the Gulf of Guinea southwest of South Bayelsa State coast, Nigeria. Aggressive pirates attempted to border the vessel, potentially to steal items or kidnap sailors. However, armed guards on board thwarted the attack.
Further pirates attacked the Malta-flagged chemical tanker “New Ranger” in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Nigeria. According to the latest information, they boarded the tanker. The pirates left the vessel, and the crew are safe. The Dryad Global announced it on Saturday, December 5.
Moreover, on the next day chemical tanker “New Ranger” has been boarded by 4 pirates 50nm SE of Agbami Terminal. The crew members were able to take refuge in a the citadel. At the time of the transmission of the message, the pirates were on board the tanker. The incident is ongoing.
To sum up the last incident is a 6th piracy attack a week. The attempts against vessels are highly likely to continue. West African pirates armed with guns and knives have attacked everything from oil platforms to fishing vessels and refrigerated cargo ships.
All Image Credits – The EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia