On Sunday, January 12, the Chinese Consulate in Lagos issued a statement stating that the four Chinese nationals kidnapped in Libreville Harbor (Gabon) on Sunday, December 22, have been released following a maritime military operation off the estuary of the Escravos River in Warri South West, Delta state.
Further piracy incidents are possible in the near term.
The Gulf of Guinea has been a hotspot for piracy incidents over the past decade. According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), between January and September 2019, 82 percent of world-wide piracy-linked attacks took place in the Gulf of Guinea. Pirates usually kidnap crew for ransom or steal the boat's merchandise.
Maritime travelers in the region are advised to remain vigilant for suspicious approaches while aboard vessels, monitor developments to the regional security environment, and report all incidents to the nearest authorities. Pirates and other criminals are often armed; do not resist if confronted.