West Africa Piracy Overtakes Somalia

Piracy off the coast of West Africa has now overtaken Somali piracy, a report by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) and other seafarers’ groups says.

West Africa piracy overtakes Somali ship attacks

Piracy off the coast of West Africa has now overtaken Somali piracy, a report by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) and other seafarers’ groups says.

It records a total of 966 attacks in West Africa in 2012, compared with 851 such incidents by Somali pirates.

West African pirates mostly steal fuel cargo and the crews’ possessions, often resorting to extreme violence.

Five of the 206 hostages seized last year off West Africa have been killed, the document says.

‘Sadistic methods’

The report, entitled The Human Cost of Maritime Piracy 2012, was released by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) project and the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP).

It says that despite the growing number of pirate attacks in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea region “the area has not received the attention that was brought to Somalia”.

Pirates typically target fuel cargo, selling it on the lucrative black market.

“In Nigeria, money moves quite quickly unlike in Somalia,” one seafarer is quoted as saying in the document.

“In Somalia, it would take months. In Nigeria, the pirates take our (oil) cargo and the money of the (shipping) company. It would take only weeks, it is quite fast.”

The report says that tackling piracy in both West Africa and Somalia requires “co-operation between efforts at sea and those on land to build maritime security and provide job opportunities to potential pirates”.

At the same time, the findings show a 78% drop in piracy off Somalia last year compared with 2011.

The report says this is due to better practices by ship’s captains and crews and the increasing use of armed guards aboard vessels in the region.

But it adds that at least 78 hostages are still being held captive by Somali pirates. Some sailors have been already held for more two years.

Many Somali pirates have used cruel and sadistic methods to extort ransom payments.

Source: BBC

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2 Replies to “West Africa Piracy Overtakes Somalia”

  1. doc hesch

    West Africa is now the new frontier for economic interest.
    Therefore the new land of exploitation of natural resources and rapid financial growth by few and poverty of masses. The perfect mix for rebellion, and what better way than steal some wealth from the rich. It is an age old story. Oh, and corruption abounds, did I forget to mention that.

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