Weekly Maritime Security Report

Peru: Robbers board bulk carrier at Callao Anchorage

30 September

Four robbers boarded a bulk carrier at Callao Anchorage at about 0100 hrs local time. The assailants took the vessel´s Able Seamen (AB) hostage and tied his hands while they proceeded to rob the ship´s properties. When the duty officer did not receive a respond from the AB he ordered other crew members to investigate. Upon arriving at the forecastle, the crew members saw the AB was tied and raised the alarm, prompting the robbers to escape with the ship´s properties. The incident was reported to Callao port authorities.

PGI Analysis: Robberies targeting vessels anchored or berthed at Callao Anchorage are intermittently reported. Most robberies are opportunistic though robbers are frequently armed and sometimes violent towards the ships’ crew. Most robberies at Callao Anchorage and in nearby waters take place overnight and in the early hours of the morning to take advantage of low visibility. 

Indonesia: Armed robbers board bulk carrier off Pulau Cula

30 September

Five armed robbers boarded a bulk carrier, some 3.7 nm west of Pulau Cula, at about 2115 hrs local time. Deck crew on routine rounds spotted the robbers and sounded the alarm, prompting the assailants to escape without stealing anything. The incident was reported to local authorities, who deployed a coast guard boat to escort the vessel to Singapore. Authorities inspected the vessel upon arrival in Singapore and determined that the robbers had fled the ship. Crew were reported safe.

PGI Analysis: Robbers often target transiting as well as anchored and berthed vessels across Southeast Asia. Most robberies are opportunistic, but assailants have previously used force to extract their demands. Coordinated patrols by Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore along with increased security on vessels have led to a decrease in piracy in recent years.

Ghana: Suspected pirates attack tanker off Accra

03 October

Suspected pirates attempted to board a tanker around 127 nm southeast of Accra. The assailants approached the tanker in two speedboats and, when the ship increased speed and took evasive measures, pursued the vessel for half an hour before aborting the attack.

PGI Analysis: There has been a notable uptick in piracy in Ghanaian waters since 2018. Most incidents involve petty theft targeting vessels at anchorage in Takoradi and Tema ports. However, pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea can occur up to 150 nm off the coast, demonstrating pirates’ extensive geographical range of operation. Pirates are often armed and violent and there is precedent for attackers to persist when under attack from armed security teams until they have been injured or killed.

Select Maritime News

Brazil: Authorities seize 400 kg of cocaine at Navegantes port

03 October

Authorities seized 400 kg of cocaine hidden in a container at Navegantes port in Santa Catarina state. Authorities seized the narcotics after identifying several suspicious individuals wearing masks near a container via CCTV cameras. The smugglers managed to escape before authorities arrived at the scene. The narcotics were bound for Valencia port in Spain.

Italy: Boat capsizes off Lampedusa, killing two migrants

06 October

A migrant boat capsized off Lampedusa, killing two migrants. Some 22 other migrants were rescued by the Italian coast guard. Worsening weather conditions in the autumn make the journey across the Mediterranean more dangerous.

Japan: North Korean boat collides with Japan sea patrol

07 October

A North Korean boat collided with a Japanese fisheries agency patrol vessel in the Sea of Japan, sending around 20 North Korean crew members overboard, the coast guard said. The North Korean boat was believed to be a fishing vessel, which reportedly capsized partially after the crash. The status of the crew was not immediately clear. The collision occurred in waters some 350 km northwest of Noto peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture in central Japan. The incident comes as authorities have increased patrols in the waters in recent years following reports of poaching by North Korean fishing boats.

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