Port Harcourt — Reporting indicates that a merchant vessel, the MV Stevia has been boarded by an unknown number of attackers 28nm SW Brass resulting in the kidnap of 8 crew.
The Cameroonian flagged M/V STEVIA (IMO8107000) was in transit from Port Harcourt to Abidjan when the incident occurred.
This incident is the 27th kidnapping with a total number of 138 persons kidnapped in Gulf of Guinea HRA in 2020. There have been a surge of incidents in the past 5 weeks, resulting in an increased risk rating for the Gulf of Guinea HRA to CRITICAL on 11th November. This is the 9th incident in the GoG HRA in December.
Vessels are advised to operate within this area at a heightened posture maintaining the highest levels of vigilance whilst implementing full hardening / mitigation in accordance with BMP West Africa where possible. In addition the IMB advises that vessels remain at least 200nm-250nm offshore where possible.