IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) recorded 246
incidents in 2015, one more than in 2014. The number of vessels boarded rose
11% to 203, one ship was fired at, and a further 27 attacks were thwarted.
Armed with guns or knives, pirates killed one seafarer and injured at least 14.
Kidnappings – where crew are taken away and held for ransom – doubled from nine
in 2014 to 19 in 2015, all the result of five attacks off Nigeria.

 A total of 15 vessels were hijacked in 2015, down from
21 in 2014, while 271 hostages were held on their ships, compared with 442 in
2014. No hijackings were reported in the last quarter of 2015. IMB says one key
factor in this recent global reduction was the drop in attacks against small
fuel tankers around South East Asia’s coasts, the last of which occurred in
August 2015.

SE Asian gangs
“IMB particularly commends the robust actions taken by
the Indonesian and Malaysian authorities in the arrest and prosecution of two
gangs that hijacked tankers. We also applaud the subsequent arrest of some of
the alleged masterminds,”
said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB,
which has monitored world piracy since 1991.


However Mr Mukundan urged shipmasters to maintain
strict anti-piracy and robbery watches. South East Asia still accounts for most
of the world’s incidents. Almost 55% of the region’s attacks were against
vessels underway compared to 37% in 2014. Most were aimed at low-level theft.
IMB cites this rise on moving vessels as a cause for concern as it increases
potential risks to the vessels and their crew.

The IMB PRC continues to work closely with the
Indonesian Marine Police and other Indonesian authorities to monitor high-risk
areas. Reports have reduced in the majority of the 11 designated anchorages
with only Belawan and Nipah recording marked increases in attempted thefts,
reporting 15 and 26 incidents respectively in 2015.

 Nigeria: oil and

Nigeria is a hotspot for violent piracy and armed
robbery. Though many attacks are believed to go unrecorded, IMB received
reports of 14 incidents, with nine vessels boarded. In the first of these, ten
pirates armed with AK47 rifles boarded and hijacked a tanker and took all nine
crewmembers hostage. They then transferred the fuel oil cargo into another
vessel, which was taken away by two of the attackers. The Ghanaian navy
dispatched a naval vessel to investigate as the tanker moved into its waters,
then arrested the pirates on board.

Somalia still

No Somali-based attacks were reported in 2015.
Following a new 55% reduction in the industry-defined High Risk Area, IMB warns
vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean to stay particularly vigilant.

Mr Mukundan explained: “Somalia remains a fragile
state, and the potential for an attack remains high. It will only take one
successful hijacking to undo all that has been done, and rekindle this criminal

Incidents in Vietnam surged from seven in 2014 to 27
in 2015. The main cause is low-level theft against vessels anchored in Vietnam,
with 15 reports from around the port of Vung Tau alone.

In China four incidents were recorded in December
2015, the first in a long time. These include three thefts of bunker diesel oil
from large bulk carriers off Tianjin, and one failed attempt to do the same.

Meanwhile, low-level incidents in Bangladesh dropped
to 11 in 2015, from 21 in 2014.

IMB Piracy Reporting Centre
The IMB PRC is the world’s only independent office to
receive reports of pirate attacks 24-hours-a-day from across the globe. IMB
strongly urges shipmasters and owners to report all actual, attempted and
suspected piracy and armed robbery incidents to the IMB PRC. This first step in
the response chain is vital to ensuring that adequate resources are allocated
by authorities to tackle piracy. Transparent statistics from an independent,
non-political, international organization can act as a catalyst to achieve this


About The International
Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the
world’s largest business organization with a network of over 6.5 million
members in more than 130 countries. We work to promote international trade, responsible
business conduct and a global approach to regulation through a unique mix of
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Media contact:


Director, International Maritime Bureau
Tel: +44 20 7423 6960