Togo official slates inaccurate piracy statistics

(File picture) A US Navy officer stands aboard the USS Nashville vessel at Nigeria's Lagos harbour. The US trained partners from around Africa's Gulf of Guinea to help boost maritime security. Picture: Akintunde Akinleye

(File picture) A US Navy officer stands aboard the USS Nashville vessel at Nigeria's Lagos harbour. The US trained partners from around Africa's Gulf of Guinea to help boost maritime security. Picture: Akintunde Akinleye

Published Oct 12, 2016

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Lome - A Togo official criticised maritime insurance companies here on Tuesday for inaccurate statistics on piracy, which include many false alarms.

During an expert debate on the fight against piracy and trafficking, Rear Admiral Fogan Adegnon, Togo's general director of the Port of Lome, said "statistical data on maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea are still to be checked".

The debate is a side-event of the ongoing African Union summit, which aims to adopt a common strategy for the fight against maritime insecurity, illegal fishery in Africa and for blue economy development on the continent.

"It is true that piracy acts are decreasing in the Gulf of Guinea," Adegnon said.

Many of the figures on piracy are false alarms given by vessels laid up in the Gulf of Guinea, especially in the waters of Togo. Leftovers from the laid-up vessels made their vicinity fish-rich, which attracted local fishermen. At the sight of fishing motor boats, some vessels issued warnings of piracy but never took the trouble to correct their false alarms.

The wrong data were never corrected, said Takougnadi Nayo, chief of staff of the Togolese Navy.

Figures on maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea show 47 acts recorded in 2013, 33 in 2014, 29 in 2015 and 19 in 2016 up till now.

Xinhua

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