28 August 2020 0730UTC
95 nm South of Lome
54 m x 9.3 m
Reporting indicates that a fishing vessel has been boarded approximately 95 nm south of Lome, and appears to be hijacked.
The vessel is assessed to be the fishing vessel AP703 (IMO: 7419731). The vessel is currently heading on an Eastwards trajectory. Local authorities have been alerted to the situation and are responding.
Incidents of this type targeting fishing vessels in the Gulf of Guinea are not uncommon, and are largely opportunistic in nature. Fishing vessels pose an opportune target due to their lack of BMP-5 measures, and in such a case the motivation in hijacking such a vessel is likely to be purely criminal instead of necessarily piratical.
Commercial vessels are reminded to remain vigilant within this area, however such a hijacking does not necessarily suggest a capability of such groups to approach and/or board much larger vessels.