Reports say that a merchant vessel, F/V IRIS S (IMO8210493) was attacked and boarded 108 nautical miles South of Cotonou resulting in the kidnap of 5 crew. The vessel was reportedly attacked by armed men on two speedboats.

The attackers who are suspected pirates stole properties belonging to the crew and kidnapped 5 crew members comprised of the following individuals: Captain- S. Korean, Chief Officer- S. Korean, Second Officer – S. Korean, Chief Engineer – S. Korean and the Engineer – Filipino.

This latest incident follows a recent threat warning issued by MDAT-GoG indicating a Heightened risk from piracy within the following areas:

05°00’N – 002°30’E

05°00’N – 005°00’E

02°30’N – 005°00’E

02°30’N – 002°30’E

Within 2021 there have been 61 personnel kidnapped across 6 incidents from vessels operating within the Gulf of Guinea.

Trends across the past 18 months have indicated a broadening of the piratical footprint within the Gulf of Guiana, beyond the traditional heartland of the Nigerian EEZ. Incidents of kidnapping throughout the Gulf of Guinea are currently tracking below 2020 volumes with 6 incidents recorded in 2021 against 11 over the same time frame in 2020. Despite this volumes of personnel kidnapped are showing a slight increase with 61 personnel kidnapped in 2021 against 57 across the same time frame in 2020.

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