A Federal High Court in Lagos has convicted 10 men under a new law designed to combat the rising piracy in the Gulf of Guinea that has made Nigerian waters the global epicentre of piracy in the past few years.
The suspects were handed 12-year prison sentences after they were captured in May of last year during a forceful boarding of a Chinese fishing vessel off the Ivorian coastline and kidnapping the crew members, according to Bloomberg.
Commodore Suleman Dahun, a naval spokesman, disclosed that the ruling is “a major victory for Nigeria’s new anti-piracy law,” citing that Nigeria has “zero-tolerance for maritime criminals.”
The ruling is the first of its kind in Nigeria to combat rising piracy, which was brought into law by Buhari’s administration in 2019.
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- Recall Nairametrics reported last week that piracy in the Gulf of Guinea fell to its lowest since Q2 2019, in the last quarter, according to a report recently published by the International Maritime Bureau.
- The report disclosed that the region led globally with 32% of all reported incidents, and accounted for all 50 kidnapped crew and the single crew fatality recorded during the first half of 2021.
- However, the number of kidnappings in the region reached its lowest level since Q2 2019, but pirates continue to target all vessel types throughout the region.