Reporting indicates that the owners of the product vessel MT B Ocean have lost contact with the vessel on the evening of the 24th January 22.
he vessel was operating as a bunker vessel 54nm SSW of Abidjan when contact was lost, with Dryad Global confirming this was a cyber attack,
More specifically, the pirates boarded and hijacked the vessel before departing the vessel with stolen cargo. All crew are reported safe.
Law enforcement agencies have now been tasked with tracking the vessel.
While further details remain unclear, information released by MDAT GoG indicated that a report had been received from local fishermen along the western coast of Ghana indicating that a group of unidentified individuals had been sighted reportedly putting to sea a local fishing boat with a high-powered outboard motor in the early hours of 24 January 2022.
According to the report, the individuals are not known locals and are suspected not to be Ghanaians.
Whilst at this stage it is unclear whether there is any connection between these events, the reporting indicated a potential piratical intent throughout ECOWAS MMCC Zone F
The port of Abidjan is home to sporadic reporting of incidents of low level maritime crime, however there are thus far no reported incidents of Piracy within the offshore domain.
Throughout 2021, incidents of piracy and maritime crime indicated a significant downturn on previous years throughout the wider West African region. Within the downturn of incidents, a further trend indicated a broadening of the piracy footprint to areas well beyond Nigerian waters.
Despite the downturn in overall incident reporting, there was an increase in reported incidents occurring beyond the JWC-025 designated HRA.
Recently IMB reported that maritime piracy and armed robbery attacks reached the lowest recorded level since 1994.
In 2021, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre received 132 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships. Incidents include 115 vessels boarded, 11 attempted attacks, five vessels fired upon and one vessel hijacked.