Weekly Maritime Security Report

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Brazil: Robbers board bulk carrier at Macapa port

31 May

Six robbers armed with knives boarded a bulk carrier docked at Macapa port at 0125 hrs local time. Crew on duty spotted the robbers and alerted the Master who sounded the alarm. The robbers fled the carrier upon hearing the alarm. After the vessel was searched, ship’s stores were reported stolen.


PVI analysis: Robberies at Macapa port and along the Amazon river are intermittently reported. Robbers are frequently armed and tend to target vessels during the night, when assailants take advantage of low visibility. However, robbers are opportunistic and easily deterred.



Indonesia: Robbers steal engine spares from bulk carrier at Cigading Port

29 May

The duty watchman on routine rounds onboard an anchored bulk carrier at D6 Berth, Cigading Port, noticed two robbers in the steering gear room. The officer on watch was immediately informed of the incident and sounded the ship’s whistle and a PA announcement was made at 0252 hrs local time. On searching the vessel, ship’s crew found the steering gear room’s lock broken and ship’s engine spares stolen.


PGI Analysis: Robberies are commonly reported at Indonesian anchorages, particularly overnight when assailants take advantage of low visibility. Robbers are typically opportunistic and non-violent, although there is precedent for robbers to use force in the region.


Select Maritime News

China: Customs arrest 12 for diesel smuggling in Guangdong

02 June

Customs authorities arrested 12 members of a gang suspected of smuggling over 49 tonnes of diesel via two fishing boats and three refuelling ships in southern Guangdong province. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported that an investigation found that sailors hired by domestic businessmen drove boats to smuggle diesel from Hong Kong to Zhuhai in Guangdong, before selling the diesel to other domestic boats. About 310 tonnes of diesel worth approximately USD 260,900 is thought to have been smuggled into mainland China since March this year.


Colombia: Authorities seize 700 kg of cocaine at Turbo port

02 June

Authorities seized 700 kg of cocaine hidden in a container aboard a vessel docked at Turbo port, Antioquia department. Authorities found the narcotics during a routine inspection of the port, customs officials said. The narcotics were reportedly bound for England.


Libya: Two die, 25 missing in vessel capsize near Qarabulli

03 June

An inflatable vessel carrying more than 100 migrants and refugees capsized around 8 nm off the coast near Qarabulli town, leaving at least two dead and 25 others missing, coastguard officials said. Those on the vessel included Sudanese, Kenyan, Ivorian and Nigerian nationals. Incidents involving migrant vessels are common off the coast of Libya as human smugglers often provide inadequate vessels to those attempting to make the crossing.


Nigeria: Bern files lawsuit to demand release of oil tanker

03 June

The Swiss foreign ministry filed a lawsuit at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to order Abuja to release an oil tanker detained since January 2018. Nigerian authorities had detained the tanker, alongside four Ukrainian crew members, for allegedly illegally transporting diesel. The captain of the Switzerland-flagged ship denies wrongdoing.


Spain: Police seize 4 tonnes of cannabis at Marbella port

02 June

Authorities confiscated 4 tonnes of hashish cannabis in two vans at Marbella port. The seizure led to the arrest of 14 individuals, local media reported. Authorities have in recent months stepped up drugs operations in southern Spain, which sees the highest levels of drug crime in the country.


Tunisia: Authorities prevent vessel carrying migrants from calling at Zarzis

01 June

Authorities refused to allow an Egyptian vessel carrying 75 migrants from calling at the port of Zarzis. The vessel, which serves an offshore oil platform in Tunisia, rescued the migrants in international waters off the coast near Sfax after their vessel faltered. The captain of the vessel said that there were more than 100 people on board and only two days’ worth of food and water.

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