Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




PILLAGING PIRATES
West African pirates target oil tankers
by Staff Writers
Port Harcourt, Nigeria (UPI) Oct 26, 2012


As the oil boom in West Africa swells, pirate attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Guinea are "reaching dangerous proportions," the International Maritime Bureau reports.

The global piracy watchdog said this month that 44 pirate attacks have been reported in 2012. There were 25 in 2011.

The bureau also said many other attacks have gone unreported in the Atlantic waters off West Africa.

Most of the pirate attacks appear to be the work of Nigerian crime syndicates that have been operating in their own oil-rich country for years.

"Pirates in West Africa is a serious problem," said IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan. "Pirates are getting quite audacious, with increasing violence being used."

While the high-profile piracy by Somali gangs in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean appears to be declining, largely due to the intervention of international naval task forces, attacks off West Africa are increasing as the region's oil production steadily mounts and tanker activity intensifies.

The countries around the Gulf of Guinea are reportedly losing $2 billion a year to maritime crime.

On Aug. 18, the British tanker Anuket Emerald was seized by 16 heavily armed pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, the marauders' main operational zone, off Lome. Most of its cargo of 3,450 tons of oil was transferred to another tanker, Nigerian authorities reported.

The pirates held the Anuket Emerald for five days before releasing it. Some of the stolen oil was traced to a tank farm near Lagos, Nigeria's main port and commercial center.

Ten days later, the 74,990-ton oil tanker Energy Centurion was seized by pirates as the vessel lay in the Lome Anchorage off the Togo coast. After a brief gun battle with a Togolese navy vessel, the marauders made off with the Greek-owned tanker and its crew of 23 Russians and their Greek skipper.

They stole 3,000 tons of its 50,000-ton cargo of oil products and disappeared. A French warship found the tanker the following day off the coast of Togo, its crew unharmed.

"It's not piracy; it's robbery," an official of the owner-operators, Golden Energy Management in Athens, declared. "The tanker was carrying gasoil and the robbers just wanted the cargo."

In another incident Sept. 5, 20 gunmen in four speedboats struck the Singapore-flagged tanker Abu Dhabi Star 14 nautical miles off Lagos.

"Our radar picked up four unlit boats," the tanker's Indian skipper, Capt. Aron Chandran, told the BBC.

"They were much bigger than the standard boats here. They had twin engines and approached very fast ... on both sides of the ship. Each boat had five well-armed people on board."

The 23-man Indian crew took refuge in a protected room, known as the citadel.

The ship's operator, Pioneer Ship Management Services of Dubai, said the pirates stole several thousand tons of its U.S.-bound cargo of Nigerian crude and fled 10 hours after the hijacking.

The attacks on fuel-laden tankers can be quite brazen. On Aug. 28, pirates seized another Greek-owned tanker off Togo as an anti-piracy conference was being held in the Togolese capital, Lome. The raiders offloaded 3,000 tons of fuel onto barges and disappeared along the swampy coastline.

None of the crewmen aboard the tankers were harmed in these attacks but the pirates frequently use violence and several crewmen have been slain this year.

But unlike the Somali pirates who've been operating on the other side of the continent since 2005, the marauders off West Africa don't generally hold onto ships they seize or detain crews for ransom.

They focus on stealing the tankers' oil, which they load aboard larger tankers operated by criminal syndicates, many of them based in Nigeria, to sell in African, Asian and European markets using forged documents.

Some maritime security specialists suspect many of the attacks are masterminded by a single syndicate with insider access to oil industry and tanker company data on sailings and cargoes.

Nigerian syndicates have been conducting such operations for years in the Niger Delta, the country's main oil-producing zone, where they steal thousands of barrels of oil every day.

Industrial-scale theft of oil in Nigeria, Africa's leading oil producer, has become a national security threat, with the state losing $1 billion a month.

.


Related Links
21st Century Pirates






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





PILLAGING PIRATES
Pirate killed off Somali coast: NATO
Brussels (AFP) Oct 24, 2012
A pirate was killed on Wednesday in an exchange of fire with a Dutch warship off the Somali coast. "The frigate HNMLS Rotterdam, flagship of NATO's anti-piracy taskforce Ocean Shield came under fire from suspected pirates," said a NATO statement. The ship responded and the dhow caught fire, it said, adding that members of the small boat's crew were then seen jumping into the water. O ... read more


PILLAGING PIRATES
Fukushima fish radiation may indicate leak: study

Clinton hails Haitian post-quake reconstruction

Top Italy scientists resign in protest at quake ruling

Japan's radiation monitoring unreliable: Greenpeace

PILLAGING PIRATES
A new take on the Midas touch - changing the colour of gold

Northrop Grumman Matures Laser Threat Terminator Technology to Address Emerging Threats

US DoE's Ames Laboratory improving process to recycle rare-earth materials

Droplet response to electric voltage in solids exposed

PILLAGING PIRATES
Helping North America's marine protected areas adapt to a changing climate

Australia pumps $1.83 bln into food bowl river

Suez reports operating profit fall on delay to Melbourne water plant

Genetic Patterns of Deep-Sea Coral Provide Insights into Evolution of Marine Life

PILLAGING PIRATES
Opposite Behaviors? Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks, Antarctic Grows

Italian snow levels, glaciers retreating

New understanding of Antarctic's weight-loss

Australia's Antarctic runway melting

PILLAGING PIRATES
Formula unlocks secrets of cauliflower's geometry

Gazans produce fish and vegetables in tiny rooftop spaces

Food to combat conflicts at global fair in Italy

Rice agriculture accelerates global warming

PILLAGING PIRATES
NY scrambles to gird for Sandy, hopes to miss its wrath

Hurricane Sandy heads for US after killing 59 in Caribbean

New York declares emergency ahead of Sandy

Elderly man dies as earthquake hits southern Italy

PILLAGING PIRATES
Eight killed in militia attack at DR Congo wildlife reserve

Mobile phone app developers take on Africa

Sudan accuses Israel of air raid, threatens action

Morocco trial of 23 Sahrawis postponed indefinitely

PILLAGING PIRATES
Grandmas made humans live longer

How fear skews our spatial perception

New Stanford analysis provides fuller picture of human expansion from Africa

New images could crack ancient writings




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement