Operations

Togo jails pirates for first time

Nine pirates who attempted to hijack a ship in Togolese waters in May 2019 have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from 12 to 20 years during a trial at a Lome court, marking the first time pirates have been tried in the West African nation.

Ten pirates, including seven Nigerians, two Togolese and one Ghanaian, went on trial for “maritime piracy, wilful violence and groups of criminals”. They were accused of attacking the tanker G-Dona 1 in May 2019.

“People should understand that piracy and armed robbery at sea will be punished. And for these sea offences, we will be uncompromising,” prosecutor Kodjo Gnambi Garba told reporters.

The Gulf of Guinea, which stretches along 5,700 km of coastline, accounted for 130 of the 135 kidnappings of seafarers recorded worldwide last year, according to a recent report by the International Maritime Bureau with southeast Nigeria being the worst hotspot.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
Back to top button