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Web Alert: EOS Risk Group report on the return of petro-piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

News & Insights 1 August 2018

EOS Risk Group has released a half-year report on Nigerian Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

​EOS Risk Group, a global professional security services company, has released a half-year report on Nigerian Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. A notable feature of this report is the return of ‘petro-piracy’, a phrase used to describe tanker hijackings for product theft.

Petro-piracy peaked between 2011-2013, but had remained dormant for the past two years. However, petro-piracy now appears to have re-emerged in the Gulf of Guinea, with the hijacking of the MT Barrett in Cotonou Anchorage, Benin on 10 January 2018. As a result of this incident, around 2,000 MT of gasoline was siphoned off via a ship-to-ship transfer over a seven-day period.

Although the hijacking of MT Barrett has been the only successful reported incident of hijacking for oil theft in 2018, there have been three reported incidents of pirates attacking tankers in Cotonou anchorage in February 2018. It is reported that these pirate group(s) are mostly Nigerian with others hailing from other West African nations.

EOS Risk Group have reported that so far in 2018, pirates have kidnapped 35 seafarers from vessels in the Gulf of Guinea and held them for ransom, with seafarers spending on average 36 days in captivity. 95% of the attacks reported on merchant vessels occurred between Brass and Port Harcourt, within 60NM of the shore. However, unlike 2017 where all reported marine kidnap for ransom attacks were conducted within the Nigerian EEZ, in 2018 there has been one reported case in Cameroonian waters and two in Ghanaian waters, where five seafarers were kidnapped from two vessels. 

To mitigate this risk, EOS Risk Group recommend that all vessels, especially tankers, implement Global Counter Piracy Guidance measures and report to MDAT-GoG while operating throughout the broader Gulf of Guinea region.

For more information, please contact your usual contact at the club or the authors of this article.​ 

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