In a written reply to a Parliamentary Question on Piracy Along Singapore Strait by Mr Christopher de Souza, the Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen noted that the Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF) plans to restructure in order to deal with piracy at sea.
Following increased piracy incidents in Africa, the port of Cotonou announced new arrival procedures and measures to protect the shipping industry, providing ten measures against acts of piracy so that the crewmembers onboard and the vessel are fully protected.
Steamship Mutual informed that it received information from TCI Africa that new measures have been taken by the Port of Cotonou to help protect against acts of Piracy for vessels both in the port of Cotonou and at anchorage in the waters of Benin.
Grad now informs that the number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Strait jumped nearly fourfold during 2019, and further advises ships transiting the Singapore Strait to remain vigilant and maintain an adequate anti-piracy watch.
On 2 January 2020, a Nigeria-flagged hopper dredger vessel experienced a piracy attack. Specifically, the vessel was sailing in the Gulf of Guinea when three persons reported to be kidnapped and four announced to be killed after the pirate’s invasion.
After the pirates’ invasion in the tanker vessel named “Nave Constellation” on 3 December in Nigeria, the 19 kidnapped crewmembers of the ship announced that have been released. Specifically, all 18 Indian and one Turkish national, were set free on Saturday 21 December.
Following the abduction of four crewmembers from “Elka Aristotle” tanker off Lome, Togo, the managing company of the Greek-flagged tanker announces that three of the crewmembers taken are free. However, the company reports that one of the four kidnapped crew, of Filipino nationality, has died, in what it is understood to not be a from actions by those holding the crew hostage but due to illness.
A Nigerian man suspected of kidnapping the crew of a Dutch cargo ship last year was arrested upon arrival at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands at around 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 5, after being extradited from South Africa.
During the early morning hours of Saturday, November 2, pirates boarded the bulk vessel MV Bonita, taking hostage nine crew-members, off Cotonou in Benin.At the time, the J.J. Ugland vessel was at anchor, waiting for berth to discharge inbound cargo of gypsum, mostly used as fertiliser. According to a statement of the company, the remaining members of crew contacted the local authorities and later in the same day, the Norway-flagged vessel docked at the port city of Cotonou.
The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre reported that a group of pirates has boarded a bulk carrier off the Indonesian cost. The coast guard sailed along with the vessel to Singapore, but when they searched for the pirates onboard, they were nowhere to be found.
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