03/31/2023 By Meghan O’Brien
Pirates boarded a ship in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea last week, taking six out of the 16-man crew as hostages. The pirates quickly abandoned the French Navy vessel, Monjasa Reformer, near Port Pointe-Noire, Congo. According to company spokesman Thorstein Andreason, their reasoning for taking hostages is unknown.
Every year, the threat of piracy has cost this region nearly $1.9 billion. The Gulf of Guinea is known to be one of the most dangerous locations for sea travel and a common spot for hijacking. Since November of 2022, The United Nations has been making strides towards enhancing maritime security by urging a more strict legal framework to hold maritime offenders accountable.
Three other crew members were injured in the attack. The remainder of the crew successfully contacted a nearby French Navy vessel, which arrived shortly to treat minor injuries. According to Andreason, the remaining crew members are “all in good health and safely located in a secure environment and receiving proper attention following these dreadful events.”
The Monjasa Reformer, known to carry marine gas and sulfur fuel oil, was transported to Togo with the help of a Nigerian ship. No damage to the ship has been reported as of now.