International Maritime Bureau News

14 Jan 2020

Crew Kidnappings Surge 50% Off W. Africa

Image: IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC)

Despite overall piracy incidents declining in 2019, there was an alarming increase in crew kidnappings across the Gulf of Guinea.Number of crew kidnappings jumped from 78 in 2018 to 121 last year, according to the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) annual piracy report.This equates to over 90% of global kidnappings reported at sea with 64 crew members kidnapped across six separate incidents in the last quarter of 2019 alone. The region accounted for 64 incidents including all four vessel hijackings that occurred in 2019


05 Dec 2019

Pirates Kidnap 19 Crew from Tanker off Nigeria

© Christin Boggs Peyper / Adobe Stock

Pirates have kidnapped 19 crew members from a crude oil tanker off Nigeria in an area where acts of piracy are on the rise, an official with the ship's operator said on Thursday.The loaded vessel, the Nave Constellation, was attacked 77 nautical miles off Bonny Island on Tuesday and 18 Indians and one Turk from the crew were seized, the official said.Seven other crew members remain on board the vessel. Neither the vessel nor the cargo were damaged, the official said.The shipping


26 Nov 2019

Pirates Attack Anchor Handler off Equatorial Guinea

© David Woodhouse / MarineTraffic.com

Pirates have abducted seven crew members from an anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessel offshore Equatorial Guinea, the vessel's owner Swire Pacific Offshore (SPO) said.The Singaporean-flagged Pacific Warden was attacked on November 20, 2019 at approximately 5 a.m. local time, while supporting offshore field operations in Equatorial Guinea, SPO confirmed on Sunday.Seven of the 15 crew members on board have been taken by the attackers and are presently missing, while the other eight are safely ashore and unharmed


04 Nov 2019

Pirates Kidnap Crew of MV Bonita

Pic: Norwegian Shipowners’ Association

Pirates have kidnapped nine crew members from a Norwegian shipping vessel named the MV Bonita off the coast of Benin in West Africa.MV Bonita was anchored and awaiting berth at the Cotonou port to discharge a shipment of gypsum when the pirates boarded, the shipping firm  J.J. Ugland said in a statement Sunday.The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association said that it is in close contact with Ugland Shipping with a common and clear goal to bring the 9 sailors back to safety. The vessel and remaining crew are safely anchored in Cotonou and investigations are carried out.

04 Nov 2019

Pirates Kidnap Four from Greek Tanker

The ELKA_ARISTOTLE / CREDIT © MarineTraffic.com

Pirates attacked a Greek oil tanker off the coast of Togo in the early hours of Monday and fled after taking four crew members as hostages, the West African nation's navy said, two days after a similar attack in the waters of neighbouring Benin.Of the missing crew members, two are Filipinos, one is Greek and one is Georgian, the navy said in a statement. One security guard was also shot and wounded in the attack, it said."Monday, 4th of November 2019, around 0300, the tanker boat Elka Aristotle was attacked around 18 kilometers (11 miles) from the port of Lome by armed individuals


15 Oct 2019

Gulf of Guinea Remains Piracy Hotspot

Image: ICC Company

The Gulf of Guinea remains a high risk area  for piracy and armed robbery, according to the International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) report for the third quarter of 2019. The region accounts for 86% of crew taken hostage and nearly 82% of crew kidnappings globally, it said.In July a general cargo vessel was hijacked approximately 120nm SW from Brass. Ten crew members were kidnapped from the vessel and released four weeks later. In August a bulk carrier and a general cargo vessel were boarded within hours of each other at Douala anchorage


16 Aug 2019

Seamen Kidnapped off Cameroon's Coast

© Patrik Valiƥ / Adobe Stock

A number of seamen have been kidnapped after an attack on their vessel off the coast of Cameroon in West Africa's piracy-plagued Gulf of Guinea, a source in the Cameroonian army and a source at the major port of Douala said on Friday.In July, the International Maritime Bureau described the Gulf of Guinea as the most dangerous area in the world for piracy with 73% of all sea kidnappings and 92% of hostage-takings taking place there.The army source declined to give details on the number and nationality of the hostages or the name of their ship."I'm waiting until I know for sure," he said.

16 Jul 2019

Ten Turkish Sailors Seized by Pirates off Nigeria

© pavalena / Adobe Stock

Ten Turkish sailors were taken hostage by armed pirates who attacked a Turkish-flagged cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria, the vessel's owner said on Tuesday, adding that another eight sailors were left safely aboard.Turkey's foreign ministry said the sailors were seized on Saturday evening. After the pirates left the ship it was taken to Ghana's Tema port, and Ghanaian and Nigerian authorities are working on returning the captured sailors, the ministry said.Shipping company Kadioglu Denizcilik said its ship


09 Jul 2019

Piracy: West Africa, World's Most Dangerous Seas

Graphics: IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC)

The seas off West Africa's coastline are now the most dangerous in the world for shipping, the International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest report revealed.According to the report, of the 75 seafarers taken hostage onboard or kidnapped for ransom worldwide so far this year, 62 were captured in the Gulf of Guinea – off the coasts of Nigeria, Guinea, Togo, Benin and Cameroon.The IMB Piracy Reporting Center (IMB PRC) recorded 78 incidents of piracy worldwide and armed robbery against ships in the first half of 2019, compared with 107 incidents for the same period of 2018.

19 Jun 2019

High Level Meet on Piracy in Gulf of Guinea

A high-level meeting on piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea held at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) head office in London, was attended by the shipping community, Flag States, seafarer groups and maritime agencies, including International Maritime Bureau (IMB).The symposium has shone the spotlight on the need for urgent action to ensure the safety and security of seafarers transiting the region.Discussion were animated, but all gathered were in consensus as to the outcome, which is to identify actions that will reduce the risks posed to seafarers and shipping, and to make crew kidnappings ‘history’.Dr. Grahaeme Henderson


10 Jun 2019

Piracy Threat Persists in Gulf of Guinea

A crew member prepares to board a tanker that was hijacked by pirates in Benin on. Pic: US Naval Institute

Concerns raised by various industry bodies were supported by figures from the International Maritime Bureau showing that the number of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea region had doubled in 2018.There has also been a marked increase towards kidnapping for ransom and armed robbery incidents.Members of the shipping community, Flag States and Agencies from Gulf of Guinea gathered at the Headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for a day-long symposium on Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea.

09 Apr 2019

Piracy Retreating in Q1 2019

Image: International Chamber of Commerce

The International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) published its report for the first three months of 2019, reporting less incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships than the first quarter of 2018.During the first quarter of 2019, IMB reported 38 incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea, which are 28 less incidents than the first quarter of 2018, which stood at 66.IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre detailed that 27 vessels were boarded, seven vessels were fired upon and four attempted attacks occurred in the first quarter of 2019.

15 Feb 2019

IMB to Tackle Bills of Lading Fraud

Pic: ICC-CCS

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) announced that it has launched a new initiative aiming to mitigate bills of lading (B/L) fraud conducted by non-vessel owning common carriers (NVOCCs).The IMB NVOCC Register provides a business solution to a business problem impacting parties involved in international shipping and trade.B/Ls are crucial documents relied upon by many stakeholders in the trading chain including banks, shipping companies, carriers and charterers.IMB - which conducts B/L checks for its members - says while the vast majority of NVOCCs issue B/Ls correctly


22 Jan 2019

BIMCO Calls for Global Co-operation to Counter Piracy

Pic: BIMCO

Turning the tide of piracy and attacks is not a difficult operation in terms of military and law enforcement, according to Jakob P. Larsen, BIMCO Head of Maritime Security. The will to act and get both local and international involvement and cooperation on the other hand, may be.“To be honest, unless we see international naval support and close cooperation between international navies and local law enforcement, I doubt that we will see the numbers go down in any significant way


17 Jan 2019

Global Piracy Up in 2018, Gulf of Guinea Leads

Pic:  International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB)

Piracy increased on the world’s seas in 2018, with a marked rise in attacks against ships and crews around West Africa, the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest annual piracy report reveals.Worldwide, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) recorded 201 incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery in 2018, up from 180 in 2017.The Gulf of Guinea remains increasingly dangerous for seafarers. Reports of attacks in waters between the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo more than doubled in 2018


11 Jan 2019

Crew Travel: Safety & Security in Shipping

Despite notable breakthroughs in technology and an overdue increase in conversations regarding safety at sea, the very nature of the marine industry means that risk is inevitable.Piracy remains a prominent concern in certain regions, for example, around the Gulf of Aden. According to statistical data provided by ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) , 107 ships were hijacked or were subject to attempted attacks by pirates between January-June 2018. This figure has risen by 20 per cent in comparison to data collected in 2017 and only further highlights the need for adequate safety measures. Even if your organizations’ activities aren’t near to one of the affected regions


05 Dec 2018

Unfair Reporting on Piracy, Says Nigeria

Dr. Dakuku Peterside. Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency. Photo: NIMASA

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has called on the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) to ensure fairness and balance in its reportage of piracy issues on Nigeria’s territorial waters.Dakuku regretted what he called the exaggeration of reports on incidences on the country’s waterways by the IMB, a specialised department of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) dedicated to fighting maritime crime and malpractice.The DG noted that the Agency had put mechanisms in place to reduce piracy to the barest minimum.

24 Aug 2018

Missing Tanker Docks in Togo after Suspected Hijacking

© F. Ybancos / MarineTraffic.com

A tanker with 19 crew members on board has docked at a port in Togo after going missing for over a week in a suspected hijacking off the West African coast, the crew's agency said on Friday.The Ialkani agency and the ship's managers lost communication with the Panama-registered Pantelena on August 14, when it was about 17 miles (27 km) from the port of Libreville, in Gabon.Two Russian nationals and 17 Georgians were aboard the vessel, a dual purpose oil or chemicals tanker managed by Athens-based Lotus Shipping.

23 Aug 2018

Tanker with 19 Crew Missing in Piracy-Plagued West African Waters

© John White / MarineTraffic.com

A tanker vessel with 19 crew members on board, most of them Georgians, has gone missing in pirate-plagued waters off Gabon in West Africa and no word has been heard from it for a week, the ship's managers and the crew agency said on Wednesday.Communication was lost with the Panama-registered Pantelena at about 2 a.m. local time on Aug. 14, at which time it was about 17 miles from the port of Libreville, in Gabon, Athens-based Lotus Shipping said in a statement.The head of the Georgian crew agency Ialkani, Anzhela Oganesyan, said two Russian nationals and 17 Georgians were aboard the tanker.

25 Jul 2018

Piracy Risk Persists in Gulf of Guinea -Report

© xmagics / Adobe Stock

The second quarterly report from the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) shows that all 2018 crew kidnappings have so far occurred in the Gulf of Guinea in six separate incidents.A total of 107 incidents were reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first six months of 2018. In total, 69 vessels were boarded, with 23 attempted attacks, 11 vessels fired upon and four vessels hijacked. No vessels were reported as hijacked in the second quarter.The number of crewmembers


10 Apr 2018

Pirate Attacks Worsen in Gulf of Guinea - IMB

Photo courtesy ICC

A surge in armed attacks against ships around West Africa is pushing up global levels of piracy and armed robbery at sea, warns the International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau (IMB). IMB's Piracy Reporting Center recorded 66 incidents in the first quarter of 2018, up from 43 for the same period in 2017, and 37 in Q1 2016. Worldwide in the first three months of 2018, 100 crew were taken hostage and 14 kidnapped from their vessels. A total of 39 vessels were boarded, 11 fired upon and four vessels hijacked. IMB received a further 12 reports of attempted attacks.

23 Feb 2018

Pirates Attack Chemical Tanker off Somalia

Picture courtesy of http://www.shipspotting.com and lk.lv/en/lsc-shipmanagement/EU Navfor

Suspected Somali pirates attacked a Singaporean-flagged chemical tanker on Friday but were repelled by guards on board, the European Union's Naval force said, the first such incident in several months. EU Navfor said in a statement the 50,000 metric tonne MT Leopard Sun was sailing from Sohar in Oman to Cape Town, South Africa, when it was attacked by two skiffs 160 nautical miles (295 km) off the coast of Somalia. "The skiffs approached from the stern and fired upon her, after which the on-board Private Armed Security Team returned fire with warning shots," EU Navfor said.

06 Feb 2018

Pirates Free Tanker, Crew in Gulf of Guinea

Pirates freed a ship carrying 22 Indian crew and 13,500 tonnes of gasoline on Tuesday, Hong Kong-based Anglo-Eastern, which was managing the ship, said in a statement. "All crew members are reported to be safe and well and the cargo remains on board," the company said. The Marine Express tanker was missing in the Gulf of Guinea after contact was lost in Benin on Friday. The Gulf of Guinea has become an increasing target for pirates who steal cargo and demand ransoms, even as piracy incidents fall worldwide, experts say. Ships in the area were the target of a series of piracy-related incidents last year, according to a January report by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), which highlighted the waters off West Africa as an area of growing concern.

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