Tag Archives: pirates

Nigeria: Russian captain kidnapped

Pirates kidnapped two Russian sailors from the refrigerator ship Water Phoenix, the Embassy of Russian Federation in Nigeria has confirmed. (Image: illustration).

We confirm that two Russians were kidnapped from the ship Water Phoenix as a result of an attack by pirates 30 kilometers away from Lagos on September 8,” the embassy said on its official portal. “In cooperation with Nigerian law enforcement agencies we are exerting efforts to establish the hostages’ whereabouts and secure their release.”

According to the Nigerian portal Nigerian Tribune, the pirates seized the ship’s captain and another member of a crew, while the other 16 sailors managed to lock themselves in a compartment. The entire crew has been formed from 18 sailors – 7 Russians and 11 Filipinos.

The portal Dryad Global, devoted to maritime security matters, said that pirates had attacked the refrigerator ship Water Phoenix under the Liberian flag on the way from the Dutch port of Ijmuiden . At the moment of the attack the vessel was navigating southwest of Lagos. According to the information available it belongs to a company registered in Germany.

The Gulf of Guinea stretching from Senegal in the north to Angola in the south is notorious as the worst piracy ravaged area globally. In the first quarter of this year it accounted for 45% of world piracy incidents.

According to the International Maritime Bureau (“IMB”), the piracy can be defined as “the act of boarding any vessel with intent to commit theft or any other crime, and with an intent or capacity to use force in furtherance of that act”.

Reducing piracy is an ongoing battle, but in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic the situation has aggravated. Previously the Somali waters are perhaps the most well-known location of the modern-day pirates, largely due to headlines generated during the 2000s. Since then, the region has managed to significantly reduce numbers of piracy incidents, in part due to surveillance from the air and sea, and an increased international cooperation between countries’ navies. However, now the Gulf of Guinea has taken the lead. This fall in numbers became a global trend, with incidents of piracy falling worldwide in recent years.

2020 is, however, on course to buck this downward trend. The IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre recorded 98 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the first half of 2020, up from 78 in the first half of 2019.

Nigeria: vessel crew kidnapped

Pirates have kidnapped 19 crew members of a Greek crude oil tanker off Nigeria, an official with the ship’s operator confirmed on December 5. Reportedly, the vessel was carrying crude for Indian refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp. The vessel was chartered by French oil company Total to deliver Bonny Light oil to Vizag in southern India, the source said. (Image above: illustration)

“We are doing everything necessary to make sure that the 19 crew members will return safe,” an official at Navios said. Meanwhile, an Indian government source said its mission in Nigeria had taken up the matter of the kidnappings with the Nigerian government and security agencies.

On December 3 the vessel was 77 nautical miles (142 km) off Bonny island when crew were seized, the official said

The Hong Kong-flagged supertanker Nave Constellation, capable of carrying up to two million barrel of oil, is operated by Greek shipping company Navios Tankers Management.

Seven crew members remained on board and were told to take the loaded vessel to a safer position, the statement said. 

“All appropriate authorities” have been alerted, and “all the necessary action is being taken to secure their well-being and early release”, the statement said.

Russian sailors abducted near Benin

Six sailors were abducted when pirates attacked a ship with a Russian crew off the coast of Benin (picutred) in West Africa, Russia’s Maritime and River Transport agency confirmed.

The pirates boarded Panama-flagged MSC Mandy early on December 2, Wednesday, Rosmorrechflot said.

There were 23 Russians and one Ukrainian among the crew members. Six sailors were kidnapped by the perpetrators, while the rest remain aboard unharmed.

AMENDED 5.01.2019 A group of armed individuals boarded the MSC Mandu vessel in the Guinea Strait on the night of January 2 and kidnapped six members of the crew: five Russians, and one Ukrainian.

In the Russian Embassy in Benin in West Africa the diplomats commented on information about the abduction of the vessel crew. The diplomatic mission confirmed the incident, citing representatives of the Benin government.

To clarify the situation with the cargo ship MSC Mandy, the Russian Embassy in Benin contacted the relevant authorities. They were informed  by the Navy of Benin,  about the incident on the night of January 1 and 2, when the cargo vessel MSC Mandy, which was located near the territorial waters of Benin was attacked by an armed group <…> The attackers kidnapped six people and escaped. Afterwards the ship navigated into the territorial waters of Nigeria and is currently located five nautical miles from Lagos, said Dyabin Albert, first secretary of the Russian Embassy in Benin.

According to preliminary information, on board of the ship MSC Mandy, there were 26 people, including 20 Russians, four Ukrainians and two citizens of Georgia. Armed with firearms attackers, a group of 7-9 people, climbed onto a ship sailing under the flag of Panama, and committed a robbery and kidnapping.

Now the consular departments in Nigeria and Benin are working on the issue of the release of people abducted by pirates. There are some indications, making investigators suggest the attackers were Somalian pirates.

 

 

 

Abducted Polish sailors freed

All of the crew abducted by pirates from a container ship off the coast of Nigeria in October, including eight Polish nationals, are safe and will be reunited with their families, Poland Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

We would like to thank the shipowner, its co-workers and advisers for their professional handling of this difficult matter. We are grateful also to the Nigerian authorities,” the statement said.

The culprits targeted the MV Pomerenia Sky, a container ship owned by Midocean (IOM) Ltd and headed for the Nigerian port of Onne, in October.

Abductions are common in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea. The Polish Foreign Ministry said it was the fifth abduction of Polish citizens there since 2013.

EU extended mandate to NAVFOR Somalia operation

EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta: Council prolongs the Operation and decides on new headquarters and new Operation Commander.

The Council today extended the mandate of EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta until 31 December 2020. The Council also decided to relocate the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Operational Headquarters from Northwood (UK) to Rota (Spain), and to Brest (France) for the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) as of 29 March 2019. It appointed Vice Admiral Antonio Martorell Lacavefrom the Spanish Navy as new Operation Commander to take command from Major General Charlie Stickland on the same date. The relocation and change in command are required due to the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU.

Today’s decision also allocated a budget of €11.777 million for the common costs of the operation for the period 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020.

EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta contributes to the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast. The operation is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach for a peaceful, stable and democratic Somalia.

The operation also protects vessels of the World Food Programme and other vulnerable shipping, monitors fishing activities off the coast of Somalia and supports other EU missions and programmes in the region.