Web Alert: IMB publishes first quarter report on piracy and armed robbery for 2016

News & Insights 26 April 2016


The IMB has reported a decline in reported incidents for the first quarter of 2016, with 37 events between January and 31 March 2016, down from 54 for the same period in 2015.

The IMB has reported a decline in reported incidents for the first quarter of 2016, with 37 events between January and 31 March 2016, down from 54 for the same period in 2015.

Focus is upon the Gulf of Guinea, which accounts for two out of three reported hijackings, as well as increasingly violent action against crew members. 

The 37 incidents reported in the first quarter of 2016 are broken down as follows:

• Vessels boarded – 29
• Hijackings – 3
• Attempted attacks – 3
• Ships fired upon – 2

In relation to personnel, 28 crew members were taken hostage, 26 were kidnapped, two were injured and one was subject to an assault.

The following locations make up the main bulk of incidents for the first quarter of 2016:

India
While India makes up a high proportion of the reported incidents, these attacks tend to relate to low-level instances of theft.

Gulf of Guinea
The low level nature of incidents in India is in contrast to the increasingly violent and frequent incidents taking place in the Gulf of Guinea, where the IMB reports 'unacceptable violence against ships and crew…particularly around Nigeria'.

The reported 10 incidents for 2016 is up from seven in the same period in 2015. Q1 of 2014 saw six attacks and Q1 of 2013, 11.

According to the IMB, two of the three reported hijackings took place in the Gulf of Guinea and the frequency of kidnappings is a concern. The IMB refers to 16 crew members being kidnapped from chemical and product tankers in four separate incidents.

Armed groups in the region are reported to have a wide range of operation, attacking ships and their crews along the coastline, in rivers, at anchorages, ports and the surrounding waters. One product tanker was hijacked 110 nautical miles off Bayelsa, Nigeria. 

Southeast Asia
In sharp contrast to 2015 where 21 incidents were reported in the first quarter, only four incidents were reported so far in 2016. No hijackings against small product tankers have been reported – the IMB attributes this reduction to  action taken by the Malaysian and Indonesian authorities against piracy gangs operating in the region.

Somalian Piracy
According to the IMB, there have been no incidents reported attributable to Somalian piracy.

Attack by ship-type
The main ship-types affected are as follows:

Comment
While the number of reported incidents continues to decline, it is clear that a risk from piracy and armed robbery remains, especially in the Gulf of Guinea, Southeast Asia and India.

As with previous updates, The Standard Club continues to strongly advise members to comply with the latest version of Best Management Practices in all affected areas, as well as related industry guidance, when trading to regions at risk from piracy.

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