19 tankers attacked off the coast of West Africa

Criminal gangs have attacked 19 tankers in the Gulf of Guinea this year alone. The cargo carried by the ships has become a highly lucrative business for the criminals, says Risk Intelligence in a new report.

In the first eight months of 2013, criminal gangs performed 19 attacks on ships in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of West Africa. In 2012, the number of attacks against product and chemical tankers from the international fleet amounted to a total of 25, according to new report from security analysts Risk Intelligence, which concludes that various pirate networks in the region are targeting the tankers' cargos, pointing out that this is a fairly new but highly lucrative criminal activity in the region.

"This form of piracy has become very costly. An estimated 117,000 mt of product worth approximately USD 100 million has been stolen since 2010. The human cost of the pirate attacks is also significant. Two crew members on product tankers have been killed and at least 34 have been injured in hijacking related incidents," says Risk Intelligence.

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