How Navy Arrested 33 Suspected Oil Thieves, Three Vessels in Delta

By Sylvester Idowu in Warri

Vigilant operatives of the Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS Delta), Warri, within three weeks, have arrested 33 suspected oil thieves in different operations around Escravos offshore in Warri South-west Local Government area of Delta Sate.

The operations, which was carried out between January 15 and February 12 this year, also led to the arrest of three sea going vessels namely MT Nely, MT Madam Esther and MT De-Praise as well as a wooden boat and a barge.

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SA Navy Op Copper deployments valuable for commerce and security

Mozambique Channel

Defence analyst Helmoed Heitman is a firm believer in the dictum “you cannot control what you can’t patrol” and to this end maintains SA Navy deployments to the Mozambique Channel should continue.

His observation comes at a time when the maritime service of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is preparing a platform for a stint in the waterway which carries much of South Africa’s seaborne goods and services.

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Busy Weekend for CTF 150. Impressive Drug Seizure for HMS Montrose

Starting on Valentine’s Day, ships working in direct support of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) had a busy weekend, the result of which was a major drug bust by Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) MONTROSE, a United Kingdom Royal Navy (RN) frigate.

In the late afternoon of 15 February, MONTROSE’s ‘WILDCAT’ shipborne helicopter spotted a suspicious dhow in an area of the Gulf of Oman known to be popular with drug smugglers.

As the sun rose over the Arabian Sea on the morning of 16 February, several packages could be seen floating in the water near the dhow. The packages were recovered and determined to be hashish. Royal Marine Commandos then boarded the dhow, securing it for search by a Royal Navy boarding team.

The master of the dhow admitted that the packages in the water came from his vessel, and after a thorough search of the dhow, the team found another cache of hashish. Add that to the drugs recovered from the water, and MONTROSE’s total seizure of hashish was 1045kg worth an estimated regional wholesale value of $538,860 U.S. dollars.

This is the first seizure for HMS MONTROSE while working in direct support of the Australian lead CTF 150. The Royal Australian Navy, with support staff from the Royal Canadian, and Royal New Zealand navies assumed command of CTF 150 in early December 2019.

“Fantastic work by the crew of HMS MONTROSE in tracking this smuggler, stopping them from ditching their cargo, and keeping these drugs from reaching their destination,” said Commodore Ray Leggatt, Royal Australian Navy, Commander of CTF 150. “With the support of ships like COURBET and MONTROSE, CTF 150 continues to apply pressure and disrupt the operations of terrorist and criminal organisations in the region that seek to use the maritime domain for their illegitimate trade.”

Denying the use of the maritime domain to illegitimate traffic in the region is CTF 150’s mission. The cooperation and support of CMF participating nations like France and the United Kingdom are the key mission enablers that CTF 150 relies on to carry out the mission. The 33 nations of CMF, working together, improves maritime security, helps strengthen regional nations’ maritime capabilities, and upholds international norms and today’s bust is just the latest example of that cooperation in action.


Nigeria: FG moves to enforce Anti-Piracy Law as stiff penalty awaits offenders

The Federal Government has embarked on measures to ensure a smooth enforcement of the newly enacted anti piracy law as part of efforts to stem criminality on Nigerian waters. This was revealed in Lagos at the annual Strategic Admiralty Law Seminar for Judges put together by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). The theme of the conference was, “Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, 2019: Key to Accelerating and Achieving Safe and Secure Shipping in Nigeria.” it was meant to sensitise judicial sector actors on the import of the antipiracy law.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Directors-General of NIMASA and NIALS, Dr. Dakuku Peterside and Professor Mohammed Tawfiq Ladan, respectively, emphasised the need for unencumbered implementation of the law. They called for cooperation among the enforcement agencies, stressing that stringent penalties await maritime criminals in the country.

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Pirates attack tanker off Benin, kidnap crew

On Feb. 20th, MDAT-GoG, the agency monitoring maritime crime in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, reported an attack on a vessel in position 05°08’31’’N – 002°06’14.4’’E.

Although the agency has not updated their report since then, media outlets and independent sources now say that at least nine crew (possibly 10, there is some confusion about the actual number) were taken hostage after at least two armed pirates boarded the ship, named as the MT Alpine Penelope.

The incident reportedly occurred some 76nm off Cotonou and the location suggests that pirate groups in the region are moving away from areas where naval patrols have been stepped up in recent weeks, such as off the Niger Delta.

Yesterday’s attack is another example of the changing economies of piracy. Until 2018, pirate groups in the region took advantage of the oil market by hijacking tankers and stealing crude for re-sale either domestically or elsewhere in the Gulf of Guinea. However, as oil prices fell, criminal gangs in West Africa reaslised that stolen crude and related products no longer offered a good return on investment and turned to kidnap instead. Media reports suggest a number of the kidnapped crew are Georgian nationals.

NIMASA, NIALS decry crimes on Nigerian waterways

By Sulaimon Salau

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), and the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), have decried the high rate of piracy, armed robbery, and other maritime crimes on the nation’s waterways.

The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, said with the world’s waters accounting over 80 per cent of transportation requirements in the global trading supply chain network across established international routes and trade lanes, the threats of piracy, armed robbery at sea and other maritime crimes remain a global concern.

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Kenya to combat drug trafficking through review of private jetties

HMS Defender and drugs haul

(Xinhua) — Kenya plans to combat international drug trafficking and smuggling of contraband goods through the review, vetting and registration afresh of the nearly 700 private jetties and landing sites across the country, a government official said on Wednesday.

Fred Matiang’i, Cabinet Secretary of Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Security, told a forum in Mombasa that he was in consultation with his Transport counterpart James Macharia in a bid to review and register afresh all the jetties and landing sites, especially at the Indian Ocean coast.

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