Maritime News

Armed robbery a threat to many seafarers

29 March 2018

While recent reports have focused attention on the risks to seafarers in the waters off West Africa, incidents reported to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) 24-hour worldwide Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) indicate that robbers, sometimes using weapons, continue to be a threat in some ports and many waters. Recent reported incidents include the following. 

  • Robbers armed with guns boarded a tanker anchored at Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela on 24 March. The alarm was raised and the robbers escaped, having stolen ship’s property.
  • Two robbers were spotted attempting to board a bulk carrier anchored at Caofeidian, China on 24 March. The alarm was raised, the crew mustered and the robbers fled.
  • Eight people armed with guns and knives boarded a reefer ship around 7.5 nautical miles off Cotonou, Benin on 22 March. They demanded that the crew start the main engine and sail, but the engines were unable to be started. The robbers stole ship’s property and crew belongings, and left.
  • Pirates hijacked a fishing boat around 30 nautical miles off Badagry, Nigeria and forced it to sail into Benin waters. They kidnapped two crew members before they released the boat.
  • Pirates in a speedboat chased and fired on a tanker around 53 nautical miles off Bonny, Nigeria on 22 March. The alarm was raised and crew mustered. The onboard armed guards returned fire and the pirates abandoned the attack.
  • Around six robbers armed with knives boarded a bulk carrier anchored at Taboneo, Indonesia on 20 March. The alarm was raised and the crew mustered. The robbers escaped empty-handed.
  • Three unauthorised people were spotted on board a tanker anchored around 14 nautical miles off Lagos, Nigeria on 16 March. The onboard armed guards fired a warning shot. One of the intruders escaped but the remaining two were captured and handed over to the Nigerian Navy.


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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