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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

African Pirates Armed Robbery at Sea

African Pirates Armed Robbery at Sea
Pirates Violence Cost of Piracy

Piracy and armed sea robbery in Africa remains very much alive and active

African Pirates have an advantage, the fact that crime and violence in international waters from pirates often go unpunished is a day-to-day fact of Seafarers.

The fact that crime and violence in international waters from pirates often goes unpunished is a day-to-day fact of Seafarers.
Money and African Pirates

Pirates are stereotypically known for drinking rum, making treasure maps, and making people walk the plank. The Barbarossa Brothers, Blackbeard and Henry Morgan were not your Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean type characters, and neither are today's modern pirate.

In 2015, a cellphone video was discovered showing at least four unarmed men being gunned down in international waters. Even though there were witnesses and selfies of the murdering crewmembers, the murders went unreported and remain unpunished to this very day.

There have been 14 attacks on commercial vessels off Nigeria's Rivers and Bayelsa African states. However, crews taking evasive maneuvers avoided eight of the raids. However, in the six, which succeeded, 23 crewmembers were kidnapped for ransom.

Cost of Africa Pirates

Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) is a project of the One Earth Future Foundation, a privately funded and independent non-profit organization located in Colorado, The USA.  OBP believes that the answers to the piracy problem should come from within East and West African Countries. OBP says there was under-reporting or non-reporting of piracy and armed robbery attacks at sea.

There are numerous reasons international piracy continues; lack of uniformity for international agreements on the criminalization of piracy, criminal jurisdiction, criminal procedures, laws of gathering evidence, prisoner transfer laws, transfer agreements, support to police and investigations, support for the trial processes and prison arrangements.

A machine gun is seen on a sandbag on a boat off the Atlantic coast in Nigeria's Bayelsa state December 19, 2013.
A machine gun is seen on a sandbag on a boat off the Atlantic coast in Nigeria's Bayelsa state December 19, 2013.

Oceans Beyond Piracy lists three main reasons why they are concerned about changes in Africa Pirate Activity

Pirate Kidnapping

Kidnap for Ransom against merchant's vessels has significantly increased in African ocean waters.

Pirate Violence

African pirates are becoming more violent and aggressive and often initiate attacks by firing at the bridge to intimidate the crew prior to boarding.

Pirate Range

African pirates operational range has increased due to faster ships, modern weapons and GPS.

There is a very real and present danger of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. In the Gulf of Guinea, the north-easternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean, in 2016 there has been an upswing in sea piracy. Attacks against oil pipelines and facilities ashore around the Niger Delta have escalated. Maritime security is important for the sustainable development and growth of the global seafaring industry.

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