Gulf of Guinea hot zone for piracy in 2020

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(LONDON) — The International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has published its annual piracy report, which details the incidents of piracy and armed robberies in 2020. The Gulf of Guinea saw the highest number of crew kidnapped during the year.

According to the report, Nigeria is the riskiest country in the world, with 35 attempted or actual attacks in 2020, which is the same level as 2019. In addition, neighboring Benin accounted for 11 attacks, which is significantly higher than the three registered attacks in 2019 and five in 2018.

“The attacks registered for Nigeria and Benin needs to be seen as a whole, because we know that the attacks off Benin are perpetrated by criminals based in Nigeria,” said Jakob P. Larsen, BIMCO’s head of maritime safety and security.

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Incidents in the Gulf of Guinea are also particularly dangerous as over 80 percent of attackers were armed with guns, according to the latest IMB figures. All three vessel hijackings and nine of the 11 vessels fired upon in 2020 related to this region. Crew kidnappings were reported in 25 percent of vessel attacks in the Gulf of Guinea and resulted in 130 seafarers kidnapped – far more than any other region in the world.

“The report underlines the concern BIMCO has expressed over Nigerian piracy in the Gulf of Guinea over the past few years, and the inability of regional governments to manage the problems. We continue to reiterate that we need international navies to do what is needed to suppress piracy in the area, ideally in collaboration with Nigerian law enforcement agencies,” Larsen said.

Click here to order the report.


By Professional Mariner Staff