Weekly Maritime Security Report 30 April 2019
Peru: Robbers board bulk carrier at Callao port
Robbers reportedly boarded an anchored bulk carrier at Callao port on 26 April and escaped with the ship's stores. The robbery was noticed by crew on duty at about 0100 hrs local time. The local port authority was informed of the robbery.
PGI Analysis: Robberies at Callao port have increased in recent months, highlighting an increased threat to vessels operating at the facility. Robbers are often armed but reports of violent incidents are rare.
Venezuela: Robber boards vessel at La Cruz port
The duty officer noticed via CCTV camera an unauthorised person on the forecastle of a vessel at La Cruz port at about 2300 hrs local time. The officer raised the alarm and alerted the rest of the crew. The robber reportedly fled the vessel with properties stolen from the forecastle store upon hearing the alarm. Crew and vessel were reported safe.
PGI Analysis: Robberies at Venezuela's ports and in nearby waters are frequently reported. Robbers are often armed and tend to persist when under attack from security forces until they have been injured or killed.
East Africa and the Indian Ocean
Somalia: Pirates attack two trawlers southeast of Mogadishu
Pirates aboard two skiffs approached a trawler at 1012 hrs local time, some 240 nm southeast of Mogadishu. A second trawler came to its aid and was fired at by the pirates. Security personnel on the second trawler fired back causing the pirates to flee.
PGI Analysis: Piracy incidents are intermittently reported off Somalia. Robbers are often armed and tend to resort to violence during robberies. There is also a precedent for attackers to persist when under attack from armed security teams until they have been injured or killed.
South East Asia
Indonesia: Robbers board tug boat off Nipa island
Two suspected robbers boarded an underway Cyprus-flagged tug boat towing a backhoe dredger, approximately 5 nm west-northwest of Nipa island, at about 0510 hrs local time. Two wooden boats were initially sighted alongside the backhoe dredger. The Master of the tug shone a light at the vessel, and the two robbers who had boarded the ship proceeded to escape via the wooden boats. Crew were safe and no items were reported stolen. The tug pilot on board the tug boat reported the incident to the Singapore police coast guard and navy, and Indonesian authorities.
Malaysia: Robbers board tug boat off Tanjung Piai
A group of between three to four robbers boarded an underway Malaysia-flagged tug boat towing a barge off Tanjung Piai, Malaysia, at 0530 hrs local time. The Master reported the incident to Singapore's Vessel Traffic Information System who informed the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. Crew were reported safe and no items were reported stolen.
PGI Analyis: There has been an increase in piracy attacks in the Singapore Strait and off the coast of nearby islands in recent months. Robbers have particularly targeted barge vessels and towing boats. Pirates are often armed and tend to resort to violence during robberies.
Nigeria: Pirates hijack tanker off Lagos
According to late reports, nine pirates armed with assault rifles and an RPG hijacked a Nigeria-flagged tanker undergoing sea trials at 2200 hrs local time off Lagos. The gunmen reportedly took a duty officer and the Master hostage and locked the rest of the crew in a cabin. The pirates reportedly damaged navigation and communication equipment and stole ship and crew property.
Nigeria: Armed robbers board tanker in Lagos Anchorage
Three armed robbers boarded a tanker at 0315 hrs local time at Lagos Anchorage. The robbers were spotted near the boat's tank. The crew sounded the alarm and mustered causing the robbers to flee with their hoses aboard a small boat. It was unclear if the robbers were able to steal any fuel.
PGI Analysis: Pirate attacks at Nigeria's ports and off the coast are common and typically occur between 20 and 150 nm off the coast, demonstrating pirates' extensive geographical range of operation. Crew and vessels are vulnerable to opportunist thieves at anchorage and more sophisticated attacks off Nigeria's coastline, particularly against tanker vessels. Pirates are often armed and resort to violence.
Select Maritime News
Algeria: Mostaganem port workers go on strike
Workers at Mostaganem commercial port went on strike to demand higher wages, contractual changes and the reinstatement of dismissed workers. Tens of workers blocked access to the port management's offices but there were no reports of violence. The extent of disruption from the strike, as well as its planned duration, were not clear from media reports.
Congo, DCR: Navy arrests 21 Congolese fishermen on Lake Edward
The Ugandan navy apprehended 21 Congolese fishermen on Lake Edward for allegedly violating Ugandan territorial waters. Kigali has arrested tens of Congolese fishermen on the lake since 2018 undermining diplomatic relations with Kinshasa.
Ireland: Customs officers seize cannabis, wine at Dublin port
Revenue officials have confiscated illegal wine and cannabis worth an estimated USD 30,000 at the port of Dublin. Security officials arrested three foreign nationals following the seizure of the shipments from France.
Libya: LNA sends military vessel to Ras Lanuf oil port
The self-declared Libyan National Army sent a military vessel to the Ras Lanuf oil port in eastern Libya for the first time. LNA personnel also reportedly entered the nearby Es Sider terminal. There was no reported impact on oil exports. The LNA controls the eastern oil terminals but has allowed the independent state-run National Oil Corporation to run the facilities.
Taiwan: US Navy warships pass through Taiwan Strait
The US sent two Navy warships through the Taiwan Strait, the US military said. The voyage risks raising tensions with China but will likely be viewed by self-ruled Taiwan as a sign of support from Washington amid growing tension between Taipei and Beijing. Washington has increased the frequency of movement through the strategic waterway in recent years despite opposition from China. Taiwan is one of a growing number of flashpoints in relations between the US and China, which also includes a trade war, US sanctions and the South China Sea, where the US also conducts freedom of navigation patrols.
US: Police seize 440 kg of cocaine, 250 kg of cannabis on Caribbean coast
US coast police seized 440 kg of cocaine and 250 kg of marijuana in international waters in the Caribbean Sea. The narcotics were seized in three separate operations off the coasts of Jamaica, Haiti and Colombia. US drugs authorities have linked the increase in cocaine seizures with growing production capabilities in Colombia.
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