Pirates kidnapped 12 crew members of a Swiss ship in Nigerian waters in the Gulf of Guinea on Saturday, September 22. The kidnapping incident reportedly occurred some 83 km (45 nautical mi) southwest of Bonny Island. The Nigerian navy and maritime police have announced that they will open an investigation into the incident. Further details regarding the event are still emerging. Additional incidents of piracy and kidnapping are possible in the Gulf of Guinea in the near-term.
There is a high risk of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. According to the US Maritime Administration (MARAD), nearly 100 incidents of piracy and armed robbery were reported in the Gulf of Guinea in 2017; 29 kidnappings were also reported at sea in the area in 2017.
Maritime travelers in the region are advised to remain vigilant for the approach of suspicious ships while aboard vessels, monitor developments to the regional security environment, and report all incidents to the nearest coastal state and flag state authorities. Pirates and other criminals are often armed; do not resist if confronted.
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