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Piracy and Security News

UKMTO Weekly Piracy Report 02 – 08 Jan 2022

Warnings, advisories and piracy incidents in the Indian Ocean Area by the UKMTO in the past week.

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Gulf of Guinea states must act and prosecute suspected pirates

States in the Gulf of Guinea region must take responsibility and step-up prosecution efforts when pirates are apprehended by international navies, following the release of three suspected pirates held in custody on board Danish frigate Esbern Snare. “The presence of international navies is a very important step in the right direction to keep seafarers safe but establishing a sustainable security situation in the Gulf of Guinea cannot happen without full support of the region. Bringing suspected pirates to justice is best done by regional coastal states,” says Secretary General and ...

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Houthis seize ‘hostile’ vessel off Yemen that Saudis say carried medical equipment

The Iran-aligned Houthi movement that controls northern Yemen hijacked a United Arab Emirates-flagged cargo vessel which it said was engaged in “hostile acts” but which the Saudis said was carrying hospital equipment. The ship was heading to the Saudi port of Jizan, just north of Yemen, from the Yemeni Red Sea island of Socotra when it was attacked just before midnight on Sunday, Saudi state news agency SPA reported, quoting coalition spokesman Brigadier General Turki al-Malki. Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition that has been battling the Houthis for ...

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Region reacts with outrage to Houthi hijacking of UAE ship off Yemen

The reported hijacking of a UAE cargo ship off the coast of Yemen by the Iran-backed Houthi militia drew widespread condemnation across the region on Monday. The Saudi-led Arab coalition said the ship was seized shortly before midnight on Sunday near the port city of Hodeidah. Coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki said the ship, the Rawabi, was on a naval mission from the Yemeni island of Socotra to the Saudi port of Jazan, carrying equipment that had been used for a Saudi field hospital on the island. The Organization ...

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UKMTO cautions vessels in Red Sea after reports of vessel attack near Yemen

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations has cautioned ships passing by an area in the Red Sea after it received reports of an attack on a vessel some 23 nautical miles west of Yemen’s Ras Isa marine terminal Jan. 2. The UKMTO posted the note of caution on twitter Jan. 3. Investigations are ongoing regarding the incident, UKMTO said in the tweet, without providing further details. “Vessels are advised to exercise caution when transiting this area,” it said. The US Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, couldn’t be immediately ...

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UKMTO Weekly Piracy Report 26 Dec – 01 Jan 2022

Warnings, advisories and piracy incidents in the Indian Ocean Area by the UKMTO in the past week.

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Ex-NIMASA DG proffers strategy to combat attacks on vessels at anchorage

Stakeholders have lamented the growing attacks on vessels at berth and anchorage a development that is beginning to raise concern for both ship owners and crew. Speaking to Vanguard, a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Temisan Omatseye, has advised security agencies to prioritise intelligence gathering to combat frequent attacks on ships at anchorage. Omatseye said, “Usually, whenever there are attacks on ships at anchorages, most times, those attacks are from criminals in communities around those anchorages. And one of the ways to tackle and ...

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Where have the pirates gone?

The launch of Nigeria’s Deep Blue Project in June 2021 and subsequent declining trend of offshore piracy could potentially lull shipping operators into a false sense of security in the waters off West Africa. It would be disingenuous at best, and dangerous at worst to interpret the decline in piracy volumes in 2021 as indicative of any fundamental or lasting change brought about by any one state or initiative. Claims of radically reduced risks within such a short timeframe and calls for the ending of war risk premiums are premature. ...

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Patrols needed to combat piracy

Cyprus is calling for increased naval cooperation and permission for onboard security to combat the scourge of maritime piracy, following an increase in attacks in the Gulf of Guinea. Deputy Shipping Minister Vassilis Demetriades said that international initiatives should combat piracy, adding that the phenomenon constitutes a menace for shipping and commercial vessels. Six crew from a Greek-owned containership were abducted on Monday near a similar recent kidnapping incident. The 5,500 teu Tonsberg, run by Technomar Shipping, was en route from Cameroon to Benin, one of the world’s hot spots ...

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UKMTO Weekly Piracy Report 12 – 18 Dec 2021

Warnings, advisories and piracy incidents in the Indian Ocean Area by the UKMTO in the past week.

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Piracy and armed robbery at sea

Although much emphasis has been on the severity of piracy activity in Gulf of Guinea, the Southeast Asian and Western Indian Ocean regions have been exposed to acts of piracy and armed robbery on vessels – demonstrating that such incidents are not restricted only to known “high risk area” regions. The IMB piracy and armed robbery report of September 2021 (Q3) released the following statistics for the January to September 2021 period: Ninety-seven vessels have reported incidents to the IMB PRC in the first nine months of 2021. Under the ...

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UKMTO Weekly Piracy Report 05 – 11 Dec 2021

Warnings, advisories and piracy incidents in the Indian Ocean Area by the UKMTO in the past week.

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Surge in piracy costing W. Africa nations: UN

The surge of maritime piracy in Africa’s Gulf of Guinea is not just a threat to foreign ship and cargo owners but also carries significant costs for the coastal nations, a new UN report said. The newest hotspot for piracy saw 106 incidents in 2020 with 623 seafarers affected by kidnapping, according to the report, “Pirates of the Gulf of Guinea: A Cost Analysis for Coastal States.” The report, made together with the Stable Seas research group, said that most of the direct costs of the kidnappings and ship seizures ...

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Iran warns against ‘dangerous’ acts of piracy targeting its oil at sea

An Iranian envoy to the United Nations has issued a stern warning against acts of piracy targeting tankers carrying Iran’s oil cargos at sea, urging the international community to condemn such illegal measures that endanger freedom of navigation. Zahra Ershadi, deputy permanent representative of Iran to the UN, made the remarks on Wednesday in an address to the UN General Assembly’s meeting on oceans and the law of the sea. She complained that the coronavirus pandemic and the US imposition of sanctions under the so-called maximum pressure campaign had disrupted ...

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Somalia: Security Council adopts resolution to keep pirates at bay

The UN Security Council on Friday adopted a resolution to combat the continuing threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia, as shipping and protection measures to keep vessels safe, have returned to levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Secretary-General’s latest report on the situation in the country illustrates that joint counter-piracy efforts have resulted in a steady decline in attacks and hijackings since 2011. However, although piracy off the coast of Somalia has been “repressed”, the ongoing threat of resurgence remains. As such – under Chapter ...

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