A combined naval security operation between Nigerian and Beninese forces enabled the release of 11 crew members off the Benin coast on Monday, April 20, at around 05:30 (local time). While there were 19 sailors initially kidnapped from the Portuguese-owned cargo ship on Saturday, April 18, near the Port of Cotonou, security officials stated that that eight crew members are still missing as of Tuesday, April 21
Similar piracy incidents are possible in the region over the near term.
There is a high risk of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), in 2019, 90 percent of world-wide piracy-linked attacks took place in the Gulf of Guinea. An increase in crew kidnappings has been observed with 121 incidents reported in 2019 compared to 78 in 2018.
Maritime travelers in the region are advised to remain vigilant for suspicious approaches while aboard vessels, monitor developments to the regional security environment, and report all incidents to the nearest authorities. Pirates and other criminals are often armed; do not resist if confronted.
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