The club has identified a marked increase in incidents of piracy and armed robbery attacks off West Africa during 2019 and early 2020. This included the worrying increase in kidnappings involving tankers often occurring a long way from shore. A recent industry report highlighted that the most dangerous area for maritime crime is West Africa[i]. In an effort to provide members with a comprehensive update of the region, the club has collated various guidance from local lawyers and correspondents in West Africa.
In the International Maritime Bureau (IMB)’s Piracy and Armed Robbery Report 2019, the IMB highlights the concerning trend of continued threats to the safety and security of crew. They report that the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) remains a high-risk area for piracy and armed robbery. The region saw a 50% increase in kidnappings in 2019 and now accounts for over 90% of the crew kidnappings globally, with 64 seafarers kidnapped in six incidents in the fourth quarter of 2019 alone. [ii]
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