Pirates Kidnap 19 Crew Members In Gulf Of Guinea In Seven Days

According to Dryad, a total of 19 crew members were kidnapped in two separate incidents in the Gulf Of Guinea.

On 13th November, the Liberian flagged Heavy Load carrier ZHEN HUA 7 (IMO9166560) was been boarded while drifting 78nm NW of Sao Tome resulting in the kidnap of 14 crew.

And on 16th November, the Ghanaian flagged general cargo vessel AM DELTA (IMO9015929) was boarded by pirates, resulting in the kidnap of 5 crew.

Somali-piracy
Image Credits: Marsecreview (Image only for representation purpose)

Incident 1:

Reporting indicates that the Liberian flagged Heavy Load carrier ZHEN HUA 7 (IMO9166560) was boarded while drifting 78nm NW of Sao Tome resulting in the kidnap of 14 crew.

It is understood that 14 crew (Chinese nationals) have been kidnapped. The vessel is understood to have had a crew of 27 personnel. The vessel is inbound Sao Tome escorted by the Italian Naval vessel Frederico Martiningo.

This incident was the 8th offshore incident within the Gulf of Guinea within 9 days.

With the confirmation of the latest kidnapping, there is a potential that the rate of incidents will decline in the short term. However, whilst it is not confirmed that the activity over the past 9 days was perpetrated by a single PAG the risk profile for all vessels operating within the region has remained at CRITICAL, with attacks assessed as highly likely / expected daily.

This incident is the 21st kidnapping within the Gulf of Guinea within 2020 and the total number of crews kidnapped from vessels throughout the area in 2020 is 110.

Incident 2:

Reporting indicates that the Ghanaian flagged general cargo vessel AM DELTA (IMO9015929) has been boarded resulting in the kidnap of 5 crew.

The vessel is understood to have been boarded by 6 – 7 pirates. The kidnapped crew are all believed to be Ghanaian nationals. Further reporting indicates that the perpetrators have damaged the onboard communications and navigation equipment. The vessel is believed to be drifting with two crew onboard.

This is the 9th incident within November alone. This latest incident takes the total volume of kidnapped personnel from vessels within the Gulf of Guinea to 115 across 22 incidents within 2020.

This incident occurred closer to shore than the majority of incidents in 2020 which have thus far reflected the developed trend of incidents at the 80+nm range. It is within a high traffic area that saw a large cluster of incidents in both 2018 and 2019. Following a spate of unsuccessful attacks on vessels previously it is highly likely that the perpetrators sought to return to areas of known traffic density and opportunistic targets.

Reference: channel16.dryadglobal.com

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