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West African Pirate Attacks Mimic Those In GoA July 9, 2011

Posted by Chris Mark in Piracy & Maritime Security, Risk & Risk Management.
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According to Bergen Risk Solutions, attacks off of the coast of Nigeria are beginning to resemble those off of the coast of Somalia in what some say is a disturbing trend. In June, 2011 there were five attacks alone.  The pirates are opting against the traditional robbery and are instead adopting the Somali tactics of hijacking the ships and holding for ransom.  The attacks demonstrate an increasing use of the Automated Ship Identification system (AIS) to target vessels as well as violence in their attacks.  1 person was killed in the attacks in June.  Bergen Risk stated:

 “Anecdotal evidence gathered in Nigeria confirms that the group has watched the modus operandi used by Somali pirates and has emulated their use of motherships.”

It added: “We find that most attacks are carried out in the hours of darkness, that pirates have no problems in carrying strikes up to 50 to 60 nautical miles from shore (but the vast majority of incidents are much closer to land) and that they have a very low threshold for using violence. Many crew members have been severely beaten and even shot during attacks.”

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