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Protection Vessels International: Weekly Maritime Security Report

Fiver robbers boarded a bulk carrier at 0445 hrs local time at Callao port. The robbers reportedly boarded the vessel using a rope attached to a hook, threatened and assaulted the AB crew on duty. Other crew members spotted the robbers and sounded the alarm. The robbers fled the vessel with stolen personal belongings upon hearing the alarm. The incident was reported to local authorities, who boarded the vessel for investigations.

PGI Analysis: There is a moderate threat to vessels at ports in Peru, partially due to opportunistic robberies targeting vessels at anchorages. Reports of such incidents are infrequent, although some incidents are likely to go unreported. Robbers are sometimes armed and can resort to violence during robberies.

West Africa

Nigeria: Spanish naval patrol finds hijacked oil tanker off Brass

09 April

A Spanish naval patrol boat found a Nigeria-flagged oil tanker at 1300 hrs local time 83 nm off Brass. The tanker had reportedly been hijacked by pirates days prior. The Spanish boat said the tanker was conducting erratic manoeuvres. Nine suspected pirates fled the tanker on a speedboat after spotting the patrol boat. The tanker’s crew was not injured, and the vessel was able to proceed to a safe port. Piracy is common off the coast of Nigeria.

PGI Analysis: Pirate attacks off Nigeria are common and typically occur between 20 and 150 nm off the coast, demonstrating pirates’ extensive geographical range of operation. Pirates are often armed and violent and there is precedence for attackers to resist security forces interventions until they have been injured or killed.

Select Maritime News

Australia: Customs seize 585 kg of meth at Port Botany in Sydney

08 April

Customs seized 585 kg of methamphetamine concealed inside 11 fridges in a shipping container that arrived at Sydney’s Port Botany in late March. The incident was not previously disclosed. The shipment originated from Singapore and was reportedly labelled as containing “electronic ovens” in an effort to avoid detection. Contraband seizures at Australian ports have more than doubled over the past decade as demand for illegal drugs has increased, and this haul is thought to be the largest shipment of the drug to be seized this year.

Argentina: Authorities seize 1 tonne of marijuana in Missiones

10 April

Authorities seized 1 tonne of marijuana from a boat in the Parana river near Puerto Rico, Missiones department. Authorities confiscated the narcotics after noticing the suspicious activity of a boat along the river from Paraguay. Parana river is one of the most trafficked routes for drugs smuggled into Argentina.

Bangladesh: Maritime workers begin strike

16 April

Maritime transport workers began an indefinite nationwide strike at 0000 hrs local time on 16 April. The strike halted the movement of both cargo and passengers from Sadarghat, Khulna, and Mongla ports. A union representing the workers has made a number of demands to end the strike, including improved security for maritime workers and higher pay.

Italy: Authorities seize six tonnes of cannabis in Sicily

13 April

Customs officers confiscated six tonnes of hashish from a boat off Sicily. The interception was prompted by a tip-off from Spanish police.

Mali: Boat capsizes, kills 10 in Ségou region

08 April

A boat capsized killing 10 people and injuring several others near Markala, Ségou region. The passengers were reportedly transporting produce to the local market in Markala, local media reported. Overloading caused the boat to capsize, according to authorities. Boat accidents are common in Mali due to poor enforcement of safety regulations.

Nigeria: Navy seizes 501 drums of illegal oil in Akwa lbom

09 April

The Navy said it seized 501 drums of illegally refined diesel oil worth USD 97,222 in Akwa Ibom following a raid on a vessel in the early hours of 5 April. Authorities arrested eight people in connection with the seizure. The smuggling of contraband items is extremely common in Nigerian waters, and the production of illegally refined oil is widespread. In 2018, some 637 illegal refineries and 933 illegal storage tanks were identified and destroyed by naval operations.

Tunisia: Port workers to strike nationwide on 16-18 April

12 April

Unionised port workers will launch a nationwide strike from 16 until 18 April. The industrial action was called to protest a decision to subcontract certain port services, among other grievances. Associated protests are likely to take place outside major ports, disrupting traffic and port operations.
Source: Protection Vessels International Ltd

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