An Antigua & Barbuda-flagged dry cargo vessel belonging to Germany’s Jens und Waller was boarded and robbed by armed criminals yesterday whilst in the Conakry anchorage, Guinea, 18 nautical miles south of the city, according to maritime security specialists Ambrey.
Three robbers armed with AK style rifles and blades boarded the 8,564 dwt Martina, whilst two accomplices remained onboard a boat. The crew mustered in the citadel, whilst the criminals robbed the vessel. No crew injuries were reported. The vessel was not under the protection of any naval guards at the time of the incident, and had an estimated freeboard of 5.3 m.
Piracy incidents around the world were at their lowest levels in nearly 30 years for the first half of 2022. However, the Gulf of Guinea was the area with the highest amount of attacks.
In July, the government of Nigeria and a coalition of global shipping stakeholders launched a new strategy to end piracy, armed robbery, and kidnapping in the Gulf of Guinea.
Piracy activity in the gulf has posed a severe threat to seafarers and local communities for over a decade. In 2020, 40% of piracy attacks, and 95% of crew kidnappings occurred in the region. However, attacks decreased by nearly 60% in 2021, following the establishment of Deep Blue, the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Maritime Safety Agency (NIMASA) anti-piracy project, and increased international counter-piracy operations in the GoG.