“Crew kidnappings in the region have dropped with only one crew member kidnapped in Q3 2021, compared to 31 crew members taken in five separate incidents during Q3 2020.”
However, stakeholders said these presentations highlighting the decline in kidnappings, came as details continued to filter out on the latest incident involving a containership in the region.
The Polish Ministry confirmed that one of the six individuals taken was a Polish citizen and said it was working on the return of their seafarer.
The incident took place on December 13, but there was some confusion on the exact number of people involved as some crew members were thought to be hiding on the containership.
Dryad reported that this latest incident brought the total to 10 incidents with 76 crew abducted this year.
Speaking at the conference, Nigeria officials cited the economic impact as well as environmental pollution from the piracy activity. They admitted that the attacks were taking place in anchorages and various parts of the country, but said they were meeting with the police to better coordinate efforts with the Navy.
“It impacted the seafarers and shipping economically such as loss of revenue due to illegal activities, high insurance premium, a threat to commerce, socially such as arm and drug smuggling, and kidnapping,” they said during the presentation but promised that they were committed to continuing the progress cited by Jamoh.
The NIMASA boss however disclosed that various interventions had been introduced to address the situation, including passage of new legislation and review of local laws.
In June 2021, Nigeria launched a coordinated programme known as Deep Blue which was outfitted with a broad range of equipment to combat piracy both at the bases as well as in the country’s territorial waters.
International forces are seeking to supplement the effort, but as the Danes highlighted in the recent incident, they were barred from following the pirates with the kidnapped crew when they entered territorial waters.
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