All of the 11 crewmen, who were abducted by pirates from their container ship while sailing off the coast of Nigeria in October, are freed and are returning to their families, according to an official statement by Poland’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.
Gulf of Guinea
Denmark announced the upcoming priorities regarding the fight against piracy and other criminal activity at sea. The priorities contain civil and military efforts against piracy. The geographical focus remains in Western Africa and the Horn of Africa. From 2019 to 2022, the priorities in the fight against piracy and other maritime crimes will replace the current Government strategy of 2015-2018.
Piracy and oil theft have significantly reduced in the Niger Delta, which is attributed to the constant patrol of naval personnel in the region, said Rear Adm. David Adeniran, the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Calabar, on the sideline of the fourth quarter exercise of the Nigerian Navy, Friday.
On 16 of November, EU NAVFOR Italian Warship Federico Martinengo visited the Port of Mombasa, in Kenya. There the ship’s crew carried out the second combined exercise together with Kenyan Navy counterparts. During the exercise, EU NAVFOR’s crew showed techniques to the Kenyan Navy in firefighting, first aid and anti-flooding procedures.
The Gulf of Guinea is one of the regions that has the most issues with piracy. In order to address these problems, a workshop for participants from the Gulf of Guinea, was held in Ghana, from 13 to 16 November. The workshop aims to improve national capacity to advance port security.
Pirates attacked a Bermudian-registered LNG tanker on November 6, near Nigeria. The pirates opened fire at the ship, but it managed to escape by maneuvering. The Nigerian Navy is now investigating the source of the attack. No one was injured in the piracy attack.
The tanker Anuket Amber was bunkering the LPG tanker BW Frigg when pirates attacked both ships west of Pointe Noire, Congo. BW Frigg managed to escape, but the pirates took the crew of the Anuket Amber as hostages. The Gulf of Guinea accounts for 57 of the 156 reported piracy incidents.
Pirates boarded a container ship off Nigeria, kidnapping 11 crew including eight from Poland. The container ship ‘MV Pomerania Sky’ was heading to the Nigerian port of Onne and was boarded on October 28. According to the vessel’s management company, nine other members remain on board and are unharmed.
The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre reported a total of 156 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the first nine months of 2018 compared to 121 for the same period in 2017. No vessels were reported as hijacked in the third quarter of 2018, marking the first time since 1994 when no vessel hijackings have been reported in two consecutive quarters.
The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa will conduct a Regional Conference on Combating Money Laundering in the Maritime Sector in Freetown, Republic of Sierra Leone, from October 24 to October 26. The program aims to strengthen the ability of law enforcement officials regarding financial crime.
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