11-08-2016

Kidnappings rise in Gulf of Guinea as piracy falls in SE Asia, Indian Ocean

pirates

PIRATE attacks has come down in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, but crew kidnappings are increasing in the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, says security firm Dryad Maritime. 

Thirty-four incidents of maritime crime and piracy were reported across Southeast Asia in the second quarter, taking the total for the first half of the year to 49, representing a decline of 66 per cent when compared to the first half of last year.

On the other hand, maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and Sulu Sea in the Philippines continues to give cause for concern with kidnap for ransom the main threat, reports London's Tanker Operator.

The Gulf of Guinea is now widely regarded as the most dangerous region in the world for seafarers as the area has seen high levels of piracy continue throughout the second quarter.

April, 2016 was the busiest month on record with 14 attacks occurring off the Niger Delta, resulting in the kidnap of 10 crew from three vessels as far as 110 miles from shore.

"In some regions we continue to see significant progress as anti-piracy measures take effect and maritime crime de-escalates, but in others, violent crime and piracy continue," said Dryad chief operations officer Ian Millen.

"The Gulf of Guinea and Sulu Sea continue to give cause for concern with criminal gang and terrorist related kidnap respectively, but the situation in the wider Southeast Asia region is much better.

"In the Indian Ocean, we are witnessing a period of de-escalation as shipowners are placing less reliance on armed security in favour of information-based risk mitigation," Mr Millen said. 

"Whilst the welcome containment of Somali piracy has come about as a result of a comprehensive, joined-up approach, including naval forces and embarked armed guards, we are very mindful of the fact that the situation at sea can change rapidly," he said.

Source: Seanews

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