Maritime News

Pirate attacks off West Africa

18 August 2017

Pirates continue to pose a threat to shipping in West African waters and ports, according to reports logged by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) worldwide Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC). Violence against crew members is often a risk, as well as kidnapping, as the pirates attempt to steal cargoes of oil.

In one incident on 31 July, which took place around 21 nautical miles off Bonny, Nigeria, three crew members were reported missing after pirates attacked a tanker and stole crew members’ personal belongings. The Nigerian navy escorted the vessel to Bonny anchorage.

In another case of attempted theft of oil from a tanker, two robbers were spotted attempting to insert a flexible hose into a cargo tank while the vessel was at the Folawiyo Terminal, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria. After the duty officer raised the alarm, the robbers escaped empty-handed.

Other recent incidents of robbery reported to the IMB include the following. 

  • Two people were spotted attempting to access a containership anchored at Manila South Harbour, Philippines on 15 August. The alarm was raised and the robbers escaped in a waiting boat with three accomplices.
  • Robbers boarded a containership anchored at Manila, Philippines on 9 August and entered a store. Security guards raised the alarm. The robbers escaped with ship’s property.
  • Robbers boarded a containership berthed at Esmeraldas, Ecuador on 5 August, stole brass pipe covers and escaped.
  • A robber boarded a tanker anchored around 10 nautical miles off Tanjung Berakit, Pulau Bintan, Indonesia on 2 August, stole ship’s property and escaped. 


All attacks and suspicious sightings should be reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, tel: +603 2031 0014 (24 hours), email:


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