This weekly update spotlights piracy and maritime crime in the Niger Delta with a particular focus on sea robbery in Rivers State. Emerging trends indicate an upsurge in incidents of sea robbery in the state, mainly involving attacks on commercial boats for robbery and kidnapping for ransom. According to data (see map below), piracy and sea robbery reportedly caused over 45 fatalities in Rivers State between January 2016 and May 2020.
In April 2020, for example, sea robbers reportedly attacked a commercial boat, robbed the passengers, and made away with the boat along the waterways in Bille community, Degema LGA. In May 2020, robbers reportedly clashed with four policemen who were escorting a commercial boat, abducted two civilians, and made away with a rifle belonging to one of the policemen at Egelegele River, Degema LGA. In a recent incident, on June 03, 2020, a commercial boat was reportedly attacked by sea robbers who forced some of the passengers to jump into the river and abducted two women including a nursing mother and her baby at the Namasibi axis of the New Calabar River, Degema LGA.
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Image Credit: Nigerian Navy