Suspected armed pirates reportedly took hostage ten Turkish sailors aboard a Turkish cargo ship en route to Côte d'Ivoire from Cameroon on Saturday, July 13, in an apparent kidnapping-for-ransom incident. Further details regarding the kidnapped sailors, including their suspected whereabouts, were not immediately reported. The remaining eight members of the crew aboard the Turkish ship - which was sailing in the Gulf of Guinea on Saturday without any freight - were rescued and taken to Ghana.
Similar incidents are to be expected in the Gulf of Guinea over the near term.
The waters off of Nigeria's oil-rich coast have been a hotspot for piracy incidents over the past decade. Pirates often kidnap crew for ransom and sometimes siphon off petroleum products. Although piracy activity has reportedly declined since 2018 due to increased naval efforts to respond to incidents, Nigeria has reported 21 pirate attacks since January 2019.
Maritime travelers in the Gulf of Guinea are advised to monitor developments to the regional security environment, remain vigilant for the approach of suspicious ships while aboard vessels, and report all piracy and other maritime incidents to the nearest authorities. Pirates and other criminals are often armed; do not resist if confronted.
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