Weekly Maritime Security Report

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India: Robbers target tanker off Kandla

10 October

Robbers boarded an LPG tanker at Deendayal Anchorage, Kandla at 2300 hrs local time before escaping with ship’s stores. The theft was noticed later during routine searches and reported to port control.


PGI Analysis: Opportunistic robbers periodically target vessels anchored at Kandla, although many more are thought to go unreported. Robbers typically target vessels at night or the early hours of the morning when visibility is low. Although some robbers are reported to be armed, incidences of violence are rare, indicating thieves are predominantly armed for self-protection.



Ghana: Assailant boards vessel at Takoradi anchorage

9 October

One assailant boarded a merchant vessel via the anchor chain at Takoradi anchorage at 0315 hrs local time. Security sighted the assailant, prompting them to flee and nothing was reported stolen.

PGI Analysis: Crime has decreased since the introduction of improved security measures in 2013, although attempted thefts continue to be reported at Takoradi Anchorage. Robbers are opportunistic, typically easily deterred and non-violent.

Nigeria: Suspected robbers board tanker in Lagos Secure Anchorage Area

14 October

Two suspected robbers boarded a Singapore-flagged product tanker at Lagos Secure Anchorage Area (LSAA) at 0145 hrs local time. Duty crew noticed the robbers and sounded the ship’s horn, prompting the assailants to flee before they could steal anything. The incident was reported to local authorities who dispatched a patrol vessel.

PGI Analysis: The creation of the LSAA has reduced the threat of piracy to vessels waiting to berth at Lagos, and incidents within the area are rare. Criminals typically target vessels waiting outside the LSAA and at Lagos port complex where security is poor and theft, robberies and unauthorised boarding’s are regularly reported. Assailants are often armed and are known to use force to intimidate crew into giving in to their demands.

Select Maritime News

Brazil: Police dismantle drug gang at Rio de Janeiro port

10 October

The federal police dismantled an organisation responsible for smuggling drugs to Europe via Rio de Janeiro port. Authorities seized 78 kg of cocaine and arrested 14 members of the group including dock workers and port operators. The group was responsible for smuggling several tonnes of cocaine to Belgium, according to local authorities.

Colombia: Authorities seize one tonne of cocaine in Narino

15 October

The Colombian navy seized one tonne of cocaine in waters near Tumaco, Narino department. The drugs were found inside a hidden compartment of a small boat during a routine operation. The destination of the narcotics remains unclear, but according to local authorities the drugs belonged to the Oliver Sinisterra group.

Ecuador: Police seize nearly two tonnes of cocaine in Esmeraldas, Guayas

11 October

The police seized 1,917 kg of cocaine in two separate operations in Esmeraldas and Guayas provinces, local media reported. Security forces seized 894 kg of cocaine in an underground cove near the port of Atacames city, Esmeraldas province. One suspect was arrested in the operation. The drugs were to be sent to the US on speedboats, via an unnamed Central American destination. Hours later, the police confiscated 933 kg of cocaine in Guayas, arresting 12 people. The narcotics were hidden in coves in coastal area and were also intended to be transported to the US.

India: Sources say Pakistan-based militants mulling maritime attacks

12 October

The navy and the coast guard have been put on alert for potential maritime attacks by Pakistan-based militant groups, local media quoted anonymous officials as saying. The sources said that the Lashkar-e Taiba and the Jaish-e Mohammed militant groups had been building up their capability to strike ports, cargo ships and oil tankers. Lashkar-e Taiba, an anti-India group with historical ties to Pakistani intelligence agencies, was blamed for attacks that killed 166 people in Mumbai in 2008.

Libya: LNA seizes two fishing boats off Derna

10 October

The self-declared Libyan National Army (LNA) seized two Italian fishing boats with 13 crew on board around 46 km from Derna, eastern Libya. None of the crew were injured and the vessels and those on board were taken to Ras Al-Hilal port east of Benghazi, according to the LNA. The group said that the vessels were detained inside Libyan territorial waters but that the crew were not under arrest. Travel in and around Libyan waters remains hazardous at times due to the unprofessional conduct of local security forces.

Morocco: Navy rescues 38 migrants off Tangier

15 October

The navy rescued 38 migrants whose boat ran into trouble west of the northern port of Tangier and recovered one body, state-run media reported. The migrants were all Moroccan nationals trying to reach European shores. Migrant departures from Morocco towards Spain have increased in the past year, as other transit countries have shored up anti-human trafficking measures.

Morocco: Security forces arrest six suspected human traffickers in Nador

13 October

Security forces arrested six suspected human traffickers in the northeastern city of Nador. Five of the arrested individuals were Moroccan citizens while the sixth one was a Senegalese national. Hundreds of passports, large sums of cash, electronic devices, three vehicles and five Zodiac-style motorboats were also confiscated during the operation. Migrant departures from Morocco towards Spain have increased in the past year, as other transit countries have shored up anti-human trafficking measures.

Morocco: Navy intercepts 165 migrants off Nador

12 October

The navy intercepted 165 migrants trying to reach Spanish shores in several inflatable boats off the coast of Nador, local media reported. The migrants included 140 nationals of unnamed Sub-Saharan countries and 25 Moroccan citizens. Migrant departures from Morocco towards Spain have increased in the past year, as other transit countries have shored up anti-human trafficking measures.

Morocco: Navy fires on migrant vessel off Larache

10 October

Moroccan naval forces fired on a boat carrying around 50 migrants between Larache and Asilah off the country’s northern Atlantic coast, according to local media. One Moroccan migrant, a 16-year old, was injured by the gunfire, though the victim’s status is unclear. In September, Moroccan forces killed one migrant after firing on a boat trying to cross the Mediterranean. Morocco has seen an increase in attempts to reach Europe by sea or entering the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa.

South Korea: Police intercept major drug trafficking syndicate

15 October

The police arrested six members of a drug trafficking syndicate involving members of Taiwanese and Japanese organised crime syndicates that operate in Taiwan, South Korea’s official Yonhap news agency reported. An unspecified number of South Korean drug dealers were also arrested in connection with the smuggling of 112 kg of methamphetamine into the country. The drug trafficking syndicate reportedly smuggled the contraband though a port in the south-eastern coastal city of Busan, which departed from Thailand’s capital of Bangkok, on 6 July. The drugs had an estimated street value of USD 326.6 mn, according to the police. The incident marks the largest seizure of drugs to be reported in South Korea.

Somalia: Upcoming UN report to claim UAE violating arms embargo

11 October

An upcoming UN panel of experts report on Somalia is to claim that the UAE is violating an arms embargo imposed on Somalia, Al-Jazeera reported. The yet-to-be released report claims that the UAE has continued to transfer military equipment and continued the construction of a military base in Berbera, Somaliland, despite international resolutions against the shipments. Somalia previously called on the UN Security Council to take action against the UAE’s operations in Somaliland.

Tunisia: Customs seize 11,000 ecstasy tablets at La Goulette port

15 October

Customs officials at Tunis’s La Goulette Nord Port seized 11,000 ecstasy tablets aboard a private truck that had arrived from the Italian city of Genoa. The narcotics were hidden inside a washing machine. Security forces arrested the owner of the vehicle, who had previously been held on suspicion of trafficking electronic cigarettes through La Goulette. Tunisia experiences high levels of smuggling and narcotics seizures are common.

Tunisia: Security forces detain crew of vessel that collided into boxship off Corsica

14 October

Security forces detained the crew of the Tunisian-flagged Ulysse ferry that hit a container ship off the coast of Corsica on 7 October. The collision considerably damaged the container ship and caused a 4-km-long oil spill. Media reports cited two videos posted on social media showing the crew partying and engaging in “provocative” behaviour as the reason behind the arrest.

Turkey: Migrant boat sinks off İzmir province, killing eight people

10 October

A boat carrying irregular migrants capsized off the Aegean coast of İzmir province’s Karaburun district, killing eight people, state-run Anadolu news agency reported, citing unnamed security sources. The migrants were said to have been attempting to cross the sea to Greece using an illegal route. One person was rescued and a search operation for the remaining 26 migrants was reportedly underway.


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