Nigerian piracy on the rise

The captain and engineer were both taken hostage in the attack by eight Nigerian pirates, who also stole cash and personal effects. One crew member was injured and another one is missing in the aftermath of the attack, the latest in a string of incidents in the oil-exporting Gulf of Guinea.

While the waters around Somalia have long been known as a hot spot for piracy, a group of maritime insurers have now designated the coastal waters of Nigeria and Benin in the same category of danger. The big difference is that while the East African pirates hijack ships and hold the crew to ransom, their West African counterparts play a much shorter term game by simply attacking and robbing ships before fleeing. In this case it is oil industry based around the oil-rich Niger Delta that has become the target of the criminals. Nigeria’s government is taking steps to combat piracy but does not have naval capacity needed to effectively deal with the situation.

The Save Our Seafarers organisation has been set up to highlight the global cost of piracy both in economic and human terms. The organisation lobbies governments and business leaders to take more effective steps to deal with the ongoing piracy issues, and has highlighted 7 key actions that need to be prioritised. Find out more and sign up to support this important campaign at http://www.saveourseafarers.com/

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