Sharp rise in piracy and maritime crime

February 2016

Piracy and armed robbery at sea around the world increased by 10%  last year, driven by a rise in the number of cases recorded in South-east Asia and the Americas. Control Risks’ Maritime Risk Analysis team recorded 682 maritime security incidents globally in 2015. The data includes cases of activism, terrorism, militancy, armed assaults during periods of unrest, and piracy and armed robbery at sea, with armed robbery accounting for 87% of incidents recorded.

By contrast, activity levels in East and West Africa dropped, continuing the downward trend seen since 2011 and 2014 respectively. Despite a drop in activity in West Africa, the region (Nigeria specifically) continues to witness the second highest number of offshore kidnaps worldwide, only beaten by South Asia, with most recorded off Bangladesh.

Of the incidents recorded in the Middle East and North Africa, the majority of cases were linked to onshore instability within Yemen and Libya, including cases of terrorism and militancy, or assaults by pro-government forces on port infrastructure or maritime assets within, or in the vicinity of ports.

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