OBP is concerned about changes in Pirate Activity in the Gulf of Guinea:
- Kidnapping. Kidnap for Ransom against merchant vessels has significantly increased in areas off of the Niger Delta: at least 16 of the kidnapping victims so far in this year are commercial seafarers. The same pirate gangs responsible for these attacks are likely the same groups responsible for kidnapping and violence in the Niger Delta.
- Violence. Pirates are becoming more violent and aggressive and often initiate attacks by firing at the bridge to intimidate the crew prior to boarding.
- Range. Pirates’ operational range has increasing: several incidents occurred more than 50nm from the Nigerian coast and the MV Leon Dias incident occurred at over 100nm.
- Adaptation. The Pirates seem to be exploring a new tactics and expanded range: the recently hijacked M/V Maximus, taken off of Abidjan over 600nm from the Niger Delta is remarkably similar to the F/V Lu Rong Yuan Yu 917 attack on 30 Jan, 2015.