8 March 2023: Off the Coast of Africa

The Office of Naval Intelligence reports that pirates, armed robbers and kidnapping for ransom (KFR) groups continue to operate off Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sao Tome and Principe, and Togo, targeting a variety of vessels to include tankers, container ships, general cargo vessels, fishing vessels, passenger vessels and vessels supporting oil drilling/production. These groups have boarded vessels up to 275 nautical miles from shore, and it is not uncommon for these groups to fire upon vessels during boardings and attempted boardings. KFR groups generally kidnap senior crew members, including the master and chief engineer, and any Western or foreign crew members. Kidnapped crew members are normally taken ashore in the Niger Delta region where KFR groups demand ransom payments in exchange for the safe return of the crew members.