IMB Piracy Report Highlights Violence in West Africa

4556_image001Somali piracy has fallen to its lowest levels since 2006, focusing attention on violent piracy and armed robbery off the coast of West Africa, the International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau (IMB)’s global piracy report revealed today.

Worldwide, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) recorded 138 piracy incidents in the first six months of 2013, compared with 177 incidents for the corresponding period in 2012. Seven hijackings have been recorded this year compared with 20 in the first half of 2012. The number of sailors taken hostage also fell dramatically; down to 127 this year from 334 in the first six months of 2012.

In the Gulf of Guinea, in addition to a rise in piracy and armed robbery – 31 incidents so far this year, including four hijackings – IMB reports a surge in kidnappings at sea and a wider range of ship types being targeted. This is a new cause for concern in a region already known for attacks against vessels in the oil industry and theft of gas oil from tankers.

“There has been a worrying trend in the kidnapping of crew from vessels well outside the territorial limits of coastal states in the Gulf of Guinea,” said Pottengal Mukundan, director of IMB, which has monitored world piracy since 1991. “There continues to be significant under-reporting of attacks – a phenomenon highlighted by the IMB year on year. This prevents meaningful response by the authorities and endangers other vessels sailing into the area unaware of the precise nature of the threat.”

Mr. Mukundan applauded the signing of the Code of Conduct Concerning the Repression of Piracy, Armed Robbery Against Ships, and Illicit Maritime Activity in West and Central Africa in June 2013 by the heads of the West and Central African countries.

Latest attacks may be viewed on the IMB Live Piracy Map.

Click here to read more in ICC’s website.

Staff contact: Nasim Deylami

More on USCIB’s Transportation Committee

Staff Contact:   Megan Giblin

Director, Customs and Trade Facilitation
Tel: 202.371.9235

Megan Giblin manages USCIB’s work on customs policy, and provides support on trade and investment policy, handling issue management, policy development, and staff support for USCIB committees and working groups. Additionally, she serves as an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) representative to the World Customs Organization’s Harmonized Systems Committee.
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