Weekly Maritime Security Report


Nigeria: Individual boards vessel off Lagos

14 November

A suspected robber boarded a merchant vessel at 0230 hrs local time off Lagos. The individual jumped overboard after crew spotted him on the main deck. Nothing was reported stolen and all crew were confirmed safe.

PVI Analysis: Nigerian waters remain high risk for criminality. Crew and vessels are vulnerable to opportunist thieves at anchorage and more sophisticated kidnap for ransom attacks, which typically occur 10 – 150 nautical miles off Nigeria’s coastline.

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Brazil: Authorities seize drugs near Santos port

12 November

Authorities seized an undisclosed amount of cocaine in a wooded area near Santos port. The drugs were found after authorities spotted a port worker trying to smuggle cocaine inside Santos port grounds. The port worker reportedly fled and dropped the drugs in the woods before he could be searched by port authorities. No arrests were made over the incident. Drug seizures are common in Santos Port.

Brazil: Authorities seize 1.3 tonnes of cocaine at Santos port

14 November

Authorities seized 1.3 tonnes of cocaine hidden inside two containers at Santos port. Authorities found the narcotics during a cargo inspection operation on the left dock of the port in Guaruja. The containers, containing 690 and 605 kg of cocaine respectively, were bound for Hamburg in Germany and Antwerp in Belgium, according to local authorities.

Malaysia: Police arrest eight terrorist suspects in Sabah, Putrajaya

16 November

Eight terrorist suspects, including six members of Philippines-based Islamist outfit Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), were arrested in a series of raids recently, Channel News Asia cited Malaysian police as saying. The men were arrested in a sting operation conducted by the counter-terrorism division of the police’s Special Branch between 30 Oct and 12 Nov in Sabah and Putrajaya, according to a statement issued by the police. The arrests come in the wake of the kidnapping of two Indonesian fishermen in the waters off Sabah on 11 September. ASG has been known to target local residents and workers for kidnappings in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Peru: Authorities seize 527 kg of cocaine at Paita port

14 November

Authorities seized 527 kg of cocaine hidden inside a fish cargo container at a warehouse at Paira port. The warehouse belongs to a company named Seafrost, which according to local authorities, has been linked to previous shipments of drugs via the port. The drugs were bound for Belgium and seven individuals were arrested over the incident.

Portugal: Staff strike at Setubal port

13 November

Work at container terminals and cargo loading and disembarking areas has been suspended since 6 November. Port workers have reportedly been striking without an official strike having been announced. The Association of Shipping Agents of Portugal has called on prosecutors to investigate whether there has been any coercion. It has also called on the labour ministry to investigate whether the stoppage of work is legitimate.

Puerto Rico: Authorities seize 88 kg of cocaine at Caucedo port

11 November

Authorities seized 88 kg of cocaine hidden inside a container at Caucedo port. Port authorities found the drugs in a container that had arrived from Kingstone, Jamaica. The drugs were destined for Puerto Rico, from where they would have been transported to the US, according to local authorities.

Yemen: Mine kills two fishermen off Hodeidah

19 November

Two Yemeni fishermen were killed when their vessel hit a sea mine planted by Houthi rebels off Hodeidah, according to local media. The blast occurred nearly 5 km from the coast of Haruniya, west of al-Munira. Houthis rebels have been accused of widely using naval mines along western Yemen and there is concern these devices could drift into nearby sea lanes.

United States: Coast Guard seizes 16.7 tonnes of cocaine in eastern Pacific Ocean

16 November

Authorities seized 16.7 tonnes of cocaine and arrested 49 suspects in a major operation across the eastern Pacific Ocean, the US Coast Guard reported. The drugs were seized from 15 separate vessels in international waters. Authorities did not disclose the origin of the cocaine. The large seizure comes amid rising cocaine trafficking to the US, with the US State Department reporting early signs that cocaine availability and use were on the rise in the US.

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