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Armed pirates kidnap 17 crew off Cameroon

23 Aug 2019

Armed pirates have kidnapped 17 crew members in two separate incidents off Cameroon a week ago.

In the first attack, in Doula anchorage on 15 August, armed men boarded the German-owned, Antigua and Barbuda-flagged cargo ship MarMalaita and kidnapped eight of the 12 crew members; the rest of the crew went into hiding until a Cameroon Navy patrol boat arrived.

In the second incident on the following day in the same area, armed pirates kidnapped nine crew members from the Greek-operated, Liberia-flagged Victory C bulk carrier and, as in the first attack, forced them on to speedboats and escaped.

It is believed that the pirates are demanding ransom payments for the release of the seafarers.

The most recent quarterly report from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) confirmed that the bulk of reported piracy incidents now take place in the waters off West Africa, and urged seafarers to be on their guard for attacks in this area.

Other recent incidents worldwide reported to the IMB’s 24-hour PRC include the following.

  • A boat approached and fired on a tanker off Nigeria on 14 August. The alarm was raised and the crew mustered in the citadel. The master took evasive actions and the boat abandoned the attack.
  • Two robbers armed with knives were spotted on board a containership berthed at Phuoc Long, Vietnam on 11 August. The alarm was raised and the crew mustered. The robbers escaped empty-handed.
  • Two armed robbers boarded a tanker anchored at Nacala, Mozambique on 7 August. The alarm was raised and the robbers escaped with stolen ship’s stores.
  • Three robbers were spotted attempting to board a tanker anchored at Tanjung Uban, Indonesia on 6 August. The duty officer raised the alarm, sounded the ship’s whistle and shouted at the robbers, who abandoned their attempted boarding.
  • Ten robbers boarded a bulk carrier anchored at Lagos, Nigeria on 25 July. They assaulted and took hostage the duty crew member, stole ship’s stores, released the crew member, who sustained minor injuries, and escaped.


All attacks and suspicious sightings should be reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, tel: +603 2031 0014 (24 hours), email:

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