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More hijacks off West Africa

17 May 2019

The continuing risks to seafarers in the waters off West Africa are highlighted in recent incidents of piracy and hostage-taking reported to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) worldwide 24-hour PRC Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC).

In an incident on 5 May, armed pirates hijacked a tug around 41 nautical miles off Luba, Equatorial Guinea and took its crew hostage. The pirates then used the tug to attack and board a carrier ship. Spanish and Equatorial Guinean naval vessel responded to the incidents. The pirates escaped and the crews were released. The Equatorial Guinean navy vessel escorted the tug and ship to a safe port for further investigations.

In a further incident on 12 May, armed men boarded and hijacked a chemical tanker anchored at Lome, Togo and took the crew hostage. Following an alert from the owners, the Togo Navy dispatched patrol boats to investigate. The tanker was intercepted 25 nautical miles away and forced to return to Lome port. The crew were reported safe and the pirates handed over to the authorities.


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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