January 23, 2014

TSG IntelBrief: Somali Piracy Neutralized: West Africa Is Next

• The International Maritime Bureau reports that incidents of maritime piracy hit a six-year low in 2013, mainly because of a precipitous drop in attacks off the coast of Somalia

• But piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is rapidly replacing the Somali threat. West African piracy accounted for 19 percent of worlwide attacks last year, and incidents have escalated from low-level robberies to violent attacks aimed at vessels carrying petroleum products

• Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is driven by the booming black market for petroleum products in West Africa

• Sea robbery of petroleum products has also made legitimate trade and investment more expensive because the Gulf of Guinea is now designated a high-risk area (like the Gulf of Aden previously), bringing higher insurance rates.