Gulf of Guinea piracy week – 6 ships attacked, 1 ship and 12 people hijacked
City of Xiamen recent updates:
Vessel was attacked by 14 pirates, crew hided in citadel, but pirates broke in and hijacked the Master, Chief Officer, Chief engineer, 2nd and 3rd engineers. Pirates used previously hijacked offshore speed passenger boat Utai 8 as mother-ship.
As of morning Apr 30 vessel is still at anchor on Malabo Road, reason unknown.
Condition of the remaining crew unknown.
Was there any cargo theft, is unknown.
Why pirates held vessel for 24 hours, is unknown. Maybe they’ve been busy breaking in citadel. Maybe they’ve been busy, parallel to citadel siege, stealing the cargo.
Situation in Gulf of Guinea
According to different sources, in a week’s time at least 6 attacks took place in Gulf of Guinea:
1 vessel with 3 crew was hijacked and now is used as mother-ship (speed boat Utai 8);
Two boxships were boarded, 9 crew were hijacked, maybe there was cargo theft, too;
One more boxship was attacked, but managed to escape;
Two more vessels were attacked, no other information is available.
It may be assumed, that pirates moved from Nigerian waters to open sea and purposefully hunt boxships.
If so, then, the pirates should have intelligence on the vessels they hunt, with most probably, cargo information – most expensive and easy to steal goods, No and location of containers with those goods.
The situation is worsened by lack of information, related to attacks, from all involved parties – from ship owners to officials.
The work of IMB is absolutely dissatisfactory, in fact it plays into piracy hands.
The only party which may improve the situation by providing ample and timely information is the crews of the vessels in the region. They should share it and make it public, in order to have a clear and full picture of the situation, attracting public attention and forcing officials to do something to curb the piracy.
Ship owners are afraid or unwilling, or both, to make piracy-related information public.