Gulf Of Guinea-Renewed pirates attacks raise fresh concerns on cost of shipping
HomeNewsGulf Of Guinea-Renewed pirates attacks raise fresh concerns on cost of shipping
concerns that the cost of doing business in Nigeria and other nations in the
Gulf of Guinea might shoot up, going by the renewed threat of maritime
A maritime security firm Dryad Global, said the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Guinea are now the world’s most dangerous for international shipping, with at least nine vessels attacked and 89 crew hijacked for ransom so far in 2019.
according to Dryad have repelled pirates in the last few days to the end of the
year 2019, including liquefied natural gas carrier BW Lokoja and suezamax
tanker Istanbul. The firm noted that at least two piracy groups working in the
Gulf of Guinea are responsible for the recent spate of attacks on tankers and
kidnapping of crew, although it did not name the groups.
said it has “identified a mothership, which one pirate group is using to
operate deep offshore, as well as a separate group that’s exploiting ambiguous
and haphazard patrolling on the outskirts of Nigeria’s Economic Exclusion
extends for 240 nautical miles,” Dryad Global Chief Executive, Phil Diacon
said: “These criminal actors are using the EEZ as a cover from Nigerian forces
and the international naval forces.
operating on the margins of the zone, the pirates take advantage of ineffective
co-ordination between Nigerian patrols and confusion about whether
international forces have jurisdiction, he said.
mothership used by one pirate group further offshore was identified using global
satellite imagery as the Togo-flagged, 3,250 dwt chemical tanker Determination
2 (IMO 8201014) according to tankertrackers.com.
for which no ownership, classification or insurance details are available, has
not been operating with its automatic identification satellite on at all times,
thereby masking its location at the times of the attacks. So-called motherships
are needed for pirates to operate in waters that are well out to sea and away
from the shore.
ship, the 2013-built, Nigerian-flagged, 950 dwt product tanker Adeline Jumbo
(IMO 9712424) has been closely watched as well,” Diacon said. “It’s not
confirmed but there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence about the movements of
Determination 2,” he noted.
as the issue of protection from piracy in the waters off the coast of the gulf
of guinea remains in front burner, there are indications that the operations of
the pirates are have grave consequences on cost of doing business.
International Maritime Bureau (IMB) described the passage as “one of the most
dangerous shipping routes in the world” and a “world piracy hotspot”.
the situation, it stated that ships still call the region, but with higher
costs. “Yet, because it is such a crucial part of the regional economy, ships
still sail its waters and assume the increasingly higher costs that come with
the threat of maritime piracy,” it stated.
of UK-based security firm, Peccavi Consulting, said: “Congestion at Lagos ports
and the lack of other options means that ships are spending a long time
queuing, meaning there are a large amount of ships in a relatively small area
“Due to that
and a lack of naval presence, there is the motive of high financial reward and
comparatively low risk of detection or capture.”
Navy has restated its commitment to fight the battle headlong, but the Head of
Research at SBM Intelligence, Cheta Nwanze, said: “Nigeria doesn’t have a plan
to tackle this menace yet,” He said: “Nigeria’s Navy is the most powerful in
the Gulf of Guinea, but compared to the army and air force, it has been
underfunded and neglected.”
proving costly for firms, industry experts say kidnappings at sea have become
so common, they have increased the cost of operations. Businesses have to
factor in the costs of independent security contractors, extra insurance, and,
sometimes, ransom money. Considering all of this, Oceans Beyond Piracy estimates
the economic cost of piracy in West Africa through 2017 at about $818.1
million, up from $793.7 million in the previous year.
that nearly a quarter of that $818.1m was spent contracting maritime
security.Insurance also represents a huge cost, as the total cost of additional
war risk area premiums incurred by ships transiting the Gulf was $18.5 million
in 2017 alone, and 35 per cent of ships transiting the area also carried
additional kidnap and ransom insurance totalling $20.7 million.
is so rife in the region that global insurance firm Beazley now offers “Gulf of
Guinea Piracy Plus,” a bespoke insurance plan for maritime crew travelling
through the area. The plan provides compensation for illegal vessel seizures
and crew kidnappings even in the absence of ransom demands. It tracks insured
vessels on a 24-hour basis, but because the risks are so high, it limits claims
Early in the
New Year, specifically on January 2, 2020, four persons were killed and three
abducted following a pirate attack on a Nigeria-flagged hopper dredger in the
Gulf of Guinea. The 2,153 GT Ambika was attacked when operating some three
nautical miles from the mouth of the Ramos River and nine nautical miles east
of the Forcados Terminal in Nigeria.
31, armed pirates also abducted eight crewmembers of the Greek-flagged tanker
Happy Lady while the vessel was anchored around 2 nautical miles off the port
of Limboh, in Cameroon. The kidnapped crewmembers include five Greek nationals,
two Filipinos and one Ukrainian sailor. Series of attacks were also recorded in
November/December last year where over 19 crewmembers were abducted and latter