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With levels of Somali Piracy uncharacteristically low for the time of year, the attention of the media has turned to maritime criminals to the West of the continent in the Gulf of Guinea. Here, criminals engaged in a number of criminal activities on and offshore have proven to be both violent and in some instanced, to have possessed specialist knowledge in order to carry out their crimes.
Dryad has witnessed and been monitoring the evolution of one crime in particular in this region, that relating to the theft of refined product cargo from vessels in waters off the Cote d’Ivoire; a threat that has moved steadily West since at least 2009, when the phenomenon was limited to the waters adjacent to Nigeria. The most recent hijack of MT Orfeas off Abijan in October 2012 demonstrated the increasing range and logistic capability of those involved in cargo theft, termed ‘Extended Duration Robbery (EDR)’ by Dryad.
Dryad has recently conducted an analysis of the EDR threat looking at the crime itself, how it has developed, those involved and what regional and international forces are doing to tackle this and other maritime crime. In this report, Dryad looks at the crime, those involved and the ways of minimising the risk of being the next target of these violent criminals.
Who do they target? Where are the high risk areas? What do the pirates do? What happens when they get onboard, and what response can victims expect from regional and international naval forces, if any? And, finally, what can potential victims do to avoid the threat in the first place?
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