Nigeria at risk of increasing Ship piracy

Issues and information related to travel to and from Nigeria.

Nigeria at risk of increasing Ship piracy

Postby Richard Akindele » Wed May 03, 2006 1:52 pm

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Piracy attacks worldwide rose slightly in the first three months of 2006, with the waters around Somalia, Nigeria and Indonesia especially vulnerable, an ocean crime watchdog said on Wednesday.

But there were no cases of piracy reported from the Malacca Strait, a known hotspot, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said.

It said acts of piracy had risen to 61 between January and March this year, compared with 56 during the same period last year.

Pirates boarded 40 merchant ships, hijacked four vessels and shot at three others. They took 63 mariners hostage and kidnapped 13 people, the IMB said in a statement obtained by Reuters.

The agency said pirate activity continued in the waters off Somalia and Nigeria, and called on regional enforcement bodies to step up patrols.

It praised Malaysian and Indonesian authorities for strict patrolling of the Malacca Strait.

The narrow waterway links Asia with the Middle East and Europe and carries some 40 percent of the world's trade, including 80 percent of the energy supplies of Japan, China and South Korea.

"Indonesia, in particular, has increased its efforts to defeat piracy by way of 'Operation Gurita', a show of force in known hotspots, and through several intelligence-led actions that resulted in the arrest of several gangs of pirates," IMB said.

"The figures show a remarkable improvement in India and the Malacca Straits with no incidents reported in 2006," it said.

Reuters 2006.
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