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Piracy drops to 21-year low

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Piracy and armed robbery at sea has fallen to its lowest levels since 1995, despite a surge in kidnappings off West Africa, according to a new report from the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

IMB’s global piracy report shows 98 incidents in the first half of 2016, compared with 134 for the same period in 2015. When piracy was at its highest, in 2010 and 2003, IMB recorded 445 attacks a year.

In the first half of 2016, IMB recorded 72 vessels boarded, five hijackings, and 12 attempted attacks. Nine ships were fired upon. Sixty-four crew were taken hostage onboard, down from 250 in the same period last year.

Despite global improvements, kidnappings are on the rise, with 44 crew captured for ransom in 2016, 24 of them in Nigeria, up from 10 in the first half of 2015.

“In the Gulf of Guinea, rather than oil tankers being hijacked for their cargo, there is an increasing number of incidents of crew being kidnapped for ransom,” IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan said.

In Indonesia, low-level theft to ships at anchor has been brought down by introducing designated anchorages with improved security. There were 24 incidents in the first six months of this year, less than half of the same period in 2015.

For more information, visit https://icc-ccs.org/piracy-reporting-centre.

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