The Gabonese government announced that pirates attacked two fishing vessels near Libreville on Sunday, May 3, and abducted three Indonesian, one South Korean, and two Senegalese nationals. As of Tuesday, May 5, the whereabouts of the victims remain unknown. Gabonese security forces have engaged actions in order to secure the area and find the perpetrators.
While pirate attacks are unusual off the Gabonese coast, the Gulf of Guinea has been a hotspot for piracy incidents over the past decade. According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), between January and September 2019, 82 percent of world-wide piracy-linked attacks took place in the Gulf of Guinea. Pirates usually kidnap crew for ransom or steal the vessel's merchandise.
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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