Piracy Situation Risk Assessment, February 2014, Issue 22


In January the reported criminal activity against shipping was moderate. There was one confirmed attack attempt against a vessel on Gulf of Aden and few suspicious activities. Gulf of Guinea has seen the similar struggle as past months but incidents on South China Sea have dropped or reported less than in average comparing to the previous months.

There were two unorthodox incidents during the January. First the false piracy warning shocked the shipping where a vessel was reported hijacked near Eritrea on Red Sea. Turned out that the vessel was boarded by Eritrean Border Guards. Second unclear event involved a tanker that was allegedly pirated from Angola. The vessel was missing from the radar for several days and reported most of the cargo stolen by pirates once she arrived to Nigeria. Angolan officials claim that the incident was fake and organized by the vessel master itself. The case is disputed by the vessel owner and Interpol is investigating the case.

The he International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has released official piracy statistics of 2013. In summary it reveals that:

– Piracy at sea has reached its lowest levels in six years, with 264 attacks recorded worldwide in 2013, a 40% drop since Somali piracy peaked in 2011. 15 incidents were reported off Somalia in 2013, down from 75 in 2012, and 237 in 2011.

– More than 300 people were taken hostage at sea last year and 21 were injured, nearly all with guns or knives. A total of 12 vessels were hijacked, 202 were boarded, 22 were fired upon and a further 28 reported attempted attacks. Nigerian pirates were particularly violent, killing one crewmember, and kidnapping 36 people to hold onshore for ransom.

– Malaysian waters saw the hijacking of two product tankers with 27 crew taken hostage, resulting in the theft of ships’ property and cargo.

– In Indonesian anchorages and waters, IMB reports a high number of “low-level opportunistic thefts, not to be compared with the more serious incidents off Africa”. However, these accounted for more than 50% of all vessels boarded in 2013, and armed robbery increased for a fourth consecutive year.

– Attacks in India and Bangladesh are also described as “low-level and opportunistic”. The incidents off India have increased year on year since 2010, reaching 14 in 2013.



Source: http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/





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