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A total of 135 crew were kidnapped from their vessels in 2020, with the Gulf of Guinea accounting for over 95% of crew numbers kidnapped, the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said in its latest piracy report.

A record 130 crew members were kidnapped in 22 separate incidents, as the GoG experiences an unprecedented rise in the number of crew kidnappings since 2019.

“Incidents in the Gulf of Guinea are particularly dangerous as over 80% of attackers were armed with guns, according to the latest IMB figures. All three vessel hijackings and nine of the 11 vessels fired upon in 2020 related to this region. Crew kidnappings were reported in 25% of vessel attacks in the Gulf of Guinea – more than any other region in the world,” the ICC IMP said.

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An armed robbery took place onboard the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier SBI Orion, while at Muara Berau Anchorage, East Kalimantan, Indonesia, in the early morning hours of 3 January.

The incident was classified as CAT 3, which is ‘less significant’ in nature, but the perpetrators could be armed.

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Following the COVID-19 pandemic situation, nine positive cases were found onboard the bunker tanker "NewOcean 6", as Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore informed.

Specifically, MPA identified the first coronavirus positive case of an Indonesian crewmember.

As explained, this crew member was tested negative on 1, 16 and 17 December. Therefore, he started working onboard New Ocean 6 after his test result on 17 December returned negative.

Although, on 30 December 2020, his latest test found him positive for COVID-19 infection.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has strict procedures on all crew members arriving from overseas to work onboard harbor craft. They have to go through 14 days of quarantine and must be tested negative for COVID-19 infection at the start and end of their quarantine period in their home country. Upon arrival in Singapore, they are tested again and need to self-isolate in a room until their test results are known before embarking on the harbor craft.

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A gas pipeline explosion was reported in Oduoha at the Port Harcourt, creating tension in the community, Dryad Global reports. However, no injury has been reported for the time being.

Specifically, on January 6 there was gas leaking from the ruptured pipe. Paramount Ruler of Oduoha Chief Ferdinand Ogbuehi said the explosion caused panic and forced many residents to flee.

The pipeline, that passes through the community to a terminal in Bonny, is either owned by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) or the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).