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New Details on Ongoing Gulf of Guinea Pirate Attack

File photo from MarineTraffic.com shows the MT Success 9. Credit: MarineTraffic.com/AD

New Details on Ongoing Gulf of Guinea Pirate Attack

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 6921
April 12, 2023

Singapore is confirming new details about a tanker that has been missing since it was boarded by pirates earlier this week in the Gulf of Guinea.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) reported today that it received a report that the Success 9, a Singapore-registered oil tanker, was boarded by unidentified persons at about 300 nautical miles off the Abidjan Coast, Cote d’lvoire on Monday, April 10.

The report comes after the Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG) information center on Monday said it received report that a tanker was boarded in the same location. The report did not disclose the identity of the vessel.

An update today from the MDAT-GoG said the vessel boarded has not been located and has not transmitted AIS. “MDAT GOG requests Masters within the vicinity report any sighting of the vessel or suspicious activity. Vessel is believed to be a red hulled tanker with a blue funnel and white and red logo on the side.”

The Singapore MPA said there are believed to be 20 crew of various nationalities on board, including one Singapore citizen.

“MPA is working closely with the ship owner, Monrovia Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre and the Information Fusion Centre at the Changi Command and Control Centre to monitor the situation and render the necessary assistance.”

The latest incident comes just weeks after the Dutch-owned tanker Monjasa Reformer was hijacked by pirates 140nm west of the Republic of Congo’s Port Pointe-Noire in late March. The vessel was eventually located four days later approximately 90nm south of Bonny, Nigeria, with six crew members missing.

International Maritime Organization Secretary-General Kitack Lim issued a statement that he is “deeply concerned” over the kidnapping of six crew members from the Monjasa Reformer and reports of this latest attack on the Success 9.

“IMO recognizes the progress that has been made since 2021 in the collective efforts to combat the threat of piracy and the resulting reduction in the number of pirate attacks. IMO urges continued sustainable support to the important work of the regional navies and entities within the Yaoundé Architecture to protect seafarers and to the operational piracy response from the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum (SHADE) and the G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea, in keeping with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2634 on piracy in the Gulf of Guinea,” Secretary-General Lim said.

“I would like to appreciate the regional and international efforts to respond to this disturbing incident. I wish to reiterate that the ongoing threat must be addressed cohesively, involving all relevant actors and including regional entities,” he said.

Equassis data shows that the Success 9 is a Singapore-flagged product tanker that was built in 2003. The ship is managed by Singapore-based Fortune Ship Management Ltd and owned by HS OCEAN PTE LTD, which is also located in Singapore.

Maritime security firm EOS Risk Group says latest boarding incident shows West African pirates’ ability to carry out piracy further from shore.

“Either a mothership was used to deploy a skiff, or a secondary tanker is in the vicinity to illegally offload the boarded vessel’s cargo,” EOS Risk Group said in an alert.

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