ARX Mouldings has received reports from Dryad that indicates a Chinese fishing vessel has come under attack whilst operating offshore Equatorial Guinea Mbini Area. The attack is reported to have occurred within territorial waters.
It is understood that the vessel was approached by a speedboat, reportedly with black hull containing an unknown number of perpetrators. The perpetrators are believed to have been armed and one crew member is understood to have been killed in the attack. Reporting indicates that 6 personnel have been kidnapped from the vessel, including the captain.
The crew members are understood Ghanaian and Malian nationals.
This is the 11th kidnapping incident within West Africa in 2021 and brings the total number of crews kidnapped in offshore incidents to 82. This is the third attack offshore Equatorial Guinea in December 21. Prior to the recent attacks waters off Equatorial Guinea have historically witnessed significantly less reporting than those of neighbouring waters. Pirates have historically shown a capacity to avoid the maritime security footprint within the Gulf of Guinea and are likely to seek to continue to exploit weaknesses where these are found. Pirates have also shown an intent to reinforce success in areas where operations have been successful and as such the risk to vessels operating within both Equatorial Guinean waters and those offshore is increased. Pirates continue to seek to target opportunistic vessels but are assessed to have both the capability and intent to target larger commercial vessels underway.