January 2018 - Piracy Report
Eleven incidents of piracy and robbery of vessels were reported in the Gulf of Guinea in January 2018. 29 crew members and passengers of vessels were kidnapped off Benin and in Nigerian internal waters during four incidents in January 2018.
In January 2018 the Product Tanker, Barrett with a crew of 22 was hijacked from the Cotonou Anchorage, Benin. On 12 January 2018 pirates made contact with the owners, presumably to negotiate a ransom payment. The ship and crew were released on 16 January 2017. The fact that the pirates made contact with the owners would suggest that this is not a hijacking for oil product, but more likely a kidnap for ransom incident. Similar attacks can be expected. It is also likely that the ship was specifically targeted. Crew should increase watches during night in all anchorages in the Gulf of Guinea.
Three attempted robberies on Product Tankers were reported off Lagos while vessels were engaged in Ship to Ship (STS) cargo operations in January 2018. Six incidents were reported at Lagos anchorages in 2017.
A high number of suspicious approaches and pirate attacks have been reported in the High Risk Area (HRA) off Somalia in recent months. Very few of these could be verified as pirate attacks. The danger exists that fishing vessels could be misidentified as pirate vessels and shot at by security teams, as fishermen in this area do often carry weapons for self protection.
Four fishermen were kidnapped from fishing boats in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh in January 2018.
Ten robberies were reported at Manila Anchorages, Philippines during 2017. Container Ships were targeted in all incidents. Survival and safety equipment are stolen. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) arrested five suspects after a similar incident on 1 January 2018.
Two incidents were recorded at Muara Berau Anchorage, Samarinda, Indonesia in January 2018. Nine robberies and attempted robberies were reported in 2017 at this anchorage.
A robbery at Puerto la Cruz Anchorage and an attempted robbery at Puerto Jose Anchorage, Venezuela, were reported in January 2018. Twelve incidents were reported at these anchorages in 2017.
Full report is available to download here: