Freight News, Sea

Nigerian pirates menace shipping again

[ June 3, 2016   //   ]

Piracy off the Nigerian coastline is on the rise again, warns global consultancy, Control Risks. Attacks in the first four months of this year are 21% higher than at their peak in 2008 and the frequency of incidents is 119% higher compared with the same period in 2015.

Control Risks says that the offshore Bayelsa state is the top location for piracy with 56% of total incidents.

While theft and robbery in ports and at anchorages in Nigeria has seen a significant decrease so far this year, there has been an increase in the number of kidnaps taking place during piracy attacks offshore. Consultant Sebastian Villyn, commented: “The number of piracy incidents we’ve recorded occurring off the Nigerian coast in the first four months of this year is striking. This is a significant increase in activity since the peak of 2008. One of the drivers behind this growth is a change in tactics by criminal groups, focusing on what is perceived as more financially rewarding activity such as kidnap for ransom, instead of offshore robbery and low level port and anchorage crime.”

While tankers and oilfield support vessels are prime targets, all vessels are potentially at risk of attack and should be prepared when operating in this region, he added.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recently launched Naval Operation Tsare Teku to patrol the area in a bid to reduce crime.

((Pic – Control Risks Nigeria))