A cargo vessel RIO MITONG was reportedly attacked on Saturday by a speedboat with an unknown number of people onboard, according to maritime security media Dryad Global, citing unnamed sources. Two personnel, Russian and Ukrainian, were reportedly kidnapped, while the rest of the crew remained behind.
"The perpetrators are believed to have used ladders to board the vessel resulting in the kidnap of two crew members believed to be one Russian and one Ukrainian", the Dryad Global overview read.
The incident took place near Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. A possible kidnapping was reported on the research vessel MV DJIBLOHO, after it was illegally boarded near Luba Ancorage, and two Russian personnel may have been captured. It is unclear whether the Luba incident took place first or was conducted by the same group.
If confirmed, the incidents bring the total number of people kidnapped in maritime crime incidents throughout the region to 52. In the last 48 hours, there has been an increase in reports concerning suspicious activity involving vessels reported to be acting in a suspicious manner.
Around 90 percent of maritime crime takes place in the coastal regions of western Africa, and, while the general trend for incidents is showing a decline, their severity has increased, especially in crimes involving kidnapping for ransom.