IMB warns of GoG threat

Will Ross

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) says kidnappings in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea have risen significantly and now account for almost 95% of global kidnappings at sea.

This year, 85 seafarers around the world have been kidnapped from their vessels and held for ransom, according to the IMB.

All but five of these were in the Gulf of Guinea, where there have been 14 reported attacks.

The pirate gangs – many of whom are based in the oil-rich Niger Delta – target oil platforms, fishing vessels and refrigerated cargo ships – often for ransom.

They are well organised and are targeting vessels over an increasingly wide area.

In July they attacked a ship almost 200 nautical miles out to sea from Nigeria.

The director of the IMB says the risk of violent piracy is adding to the already exceptional stress that crews are under due to the coronavirus pandemic.


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