Crew kidnapped in chemical tanker hijacking off Nigeria


On 11 March, about 220 nautical miles south-southwest of Lagos, the Malta-flagged chemical tanker Davide B was boarded by nine armed men and 15 crew were kidnapped.

According to Praesidium International, the Davide B was sailing towards Delta State, Nigeria, coming from Riga, Latvia, when her automatic identification system (AIS) stopped transmitting around 17:30 (South African Standard Time). 15 crew out of 21 were said to be kidnapped. The vessel was attended to some nine hours later by the Nigerian-flagged patrol vessel Qua Iboe River, which confirmed the six remaining crew are safe and unhurt.

Praesidium International say the area has seen an increased number of incidents involving Pirate Action Groups (PAGs) between the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. PAGs have shown an increased interest in targeting areas frequently used as lineup/breakup points for security escorts sailing through the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) or calling Nigerian ports.

Praesidium International believe that this modus operandi suggests that PAGs have a thorough understanding of local Navy and private security movements as well as commercial sailing routes within the greater Nigerian EEZ area. The piracy threat is expected to be high in the western sector of the Joint War Committee (JWC) and high in the south-west/south sectors of the Nigerian EEZ at least until the end of the first quarter of 2021.