Piracy Update: West Africa, SE Asia
Crew kidnap in West Africa and tanker hijacked off Indonesia.
Piracy Update: West Africa, South East Asia
We have been informed of two noteworthy incidents in the last 24 hours which continue to reinforce the dangers to the merchant maritime from piracy.
In West Africa, there are reports (now confirmed by independent sources) that an offshore supply vessel (OSV) was attacked by armed pirates today at around 0415 WAT, in INIM Field, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. We have been informed that five crew are alleged to have been kidnapped, although their nationalities remain unconfirmed at this time. The kidnapping of senior crew off Nigeria has been a significant problem this year, although many incidents go unreported due to the sensitive nature of the ransom negotiations.
Meanwhile, in South East Asia, a product tanker transiting to Timor-Leste was hijacked by armed pirates off Bintan Island, Indonesia. Eight armed men boarded the ship and took it over, before rendezvousing with two smaller tankers at an undisclosed location where the tanker’s cargo was siphoned. The ship was later released and the crew were unharmed during the incident.
This marks the 11th successful hijacking in the region and is clear evidence that the gangs operating in the lucrative Marine Gas Oil (MGO) black market remain undeterred by regional naval efforts to suppress them.