Sustained Fight against Maritime Crimes

It is no secret that the industrial scale at which Nigeria keeps losing its scarce oil resources to crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism is alarming. According to a past Chatham House report, an estimate of about 100,000 barrels per day, valued at N1.18 billion are stolen daily, which when translated amounts to N433.62 billion annually.

It is also pertinent to note that the statistics did not include the amount of oil suspected to have been stolen from export pipelines, cost of oil spill cleanup, loss of income to fishing communities and environmental degradation. The report blamed the alarming scale of oil theft to poor law enforcement presence in the waterways.

Also, another quoted report submitted by International Oil Companies (IOCs), showed that the country lost about 160 million barrels of crude oil valued at 13.7 billion dollars to theft from 2009 to 2012. The estimate was gotten from the records of three IOCs – Shell Producing Development Company (SPDC), Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL).

The report of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) monthly financial and operations report as far back as September 2015, was more damning. The report said that with an average price of 97.59 dollars per barrel in 2013, Nigeria lost 3.9 billion dollars (N858 billion) between January 2013 to April 2015 to the activities of pipeline vandals and crude oil theft. According to the report, between January and September of 2015, Nigeria lost about N48b to crude oil theft.

Thus, it is without gainsaying that only a sustained war against such maritime crimes can curb the menace. Buying into that ideology, the navy has launched several operations and exercises like the continuous Operation Awatse, the recently launched Operation Jagunlabi (both joint exercises of all arms of the armed forces) and the most recent Exercise River Sweep 11 (solely for the navy).

From Operation Awatse to Operation Jagunlabi to Exercise River Sweep 11, the sustained military presence at sea has already yielded commensurate successes as no fewer than 22 vessels involved in different criminalities were arrested by the command from June 2017 to date.

The defaulting vessels and their crews were arrested for offences ranging from piracy, crude oil theft, illegal and unregulated fishing, sea robbery amongst others. However, these arrests were made possible by the patrol efforts of the command at sea, complimented by the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) assets of the navy.

The arrested vessels include MT Wollorf, MT Vine, MT Glenstar, MT Sisi Comfort, MT DA Chris, MT Dove 1, Lurongyuanyu 215, Lurongyuanyu 216,

Lurongyuanyu 217, Lurongyuanyu 218, MT Matrix 1, Hai Long, Marion, Arc Charley, MT Thyword, MT Queen of Peace, MT United Venture, MT United Trador and MV Miracle.

Previous efforts of Operation Awatse

Recall that the operations of the militants, who were formerly pipeline vandals, at Ishawo were tackled intensively last year. Whilst their reign of terror lasted, scores of people were killed, pipelines were vandalised for the content and they were a law unto theirselves.

This brazen anomaly led to the deployment of a joint military taskforce in the area. The JTF comprises the elements of the navy, army and air force, as well as the Department of State Security Services (DSS), the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The aerial bombardment and subsequent invasion of the enclave by the JTF is part of the military’s operation tagged ‘Operation Awatse’, an Hausa word for ‘scatter’, which has the land, air and maritime components.

Intensive offensive air strikes were initiated to flush out the pipeline vandals turned militants operating at Ishawo and Igando areas of Ikorodu in Lagos State; then Arepo, Awawa, Elepete and Ibafo areas of Ogun State, given that the JTF was tasked with the responsibility of protecting the NNPC pipelines from Atlas Cove to Mosimi Depot

At the end, several arrests were made and their enclaves decimated by air strikes before the ground forces moved in to complete the operations. After the militants were disbanded, peace returned to Ishawo and its neighbouring communities surrounded by creeks for some time.

Operation Jagunlabi

Before Exercise River Sweep was launched in the Western Command, Operation Jagunlabi was kickstarted at the backwaters of the Ikorodu and its environs. While Exercise River Sweep was commenced solely by the navy, Operation Jagunlabi was that of a Joint Taskforce (JTF) comprising the Nigeria Navy, Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Army.

Also launched as a show of force on the Lagos backwaters, Operation Jagunlabi was tasked to combat the increasing menace of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft and other maritime crimes. The exercise, which is an offshoot of the ongoing Operation Awatse (an Hausa word for scatter), was kicked off to further solidify the gains of the JTF in battling vandalism and crude oil theft in Lagos creeks and backwaters.

The exercise which was also kicked off by the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Slyvanus Abbah, at the naval outpost in Majidun area of Ikorodu, saw the JTF patrol both the waters and the land around that area.

Abbah was joined by the Air Officer Commanding, Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Yahaya; the General Officer Commanding, Major General Peter Dauke and the Commander, NNS Beecroft, Rear Admiral Maurice Eno.

The maritime operation kicked off from Majidun creek and saw the apenal gunboats patrol to Ebute waterside, Ibeshe ferry jetty and moved to Oworonsoki jetty before heading back to the base. For the patrol route for the show of force, the ground forces also took off from Majidun and stormed the Ikorodu garage roundabout, Ibeshe junction, Ibeshe Ilaje, Imota, Ishawo and rendezvoused back at the naval outpost.

Not ruling out aerial bombardment by the Air Force if need be, the FOC said the joint patrol means the three arms of services will pool resources and manpower together to tackle the menace of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft. Harping on the importance of intelligence gathering, Abbah who addressed the troops before the exercise began said they are to mix up with civilians in order to get them to loosen up.

He said: “Operation Awatse has been an ongoing operation and if you are in Lagos, I think this is the most peaceful festive period you have ever had in Lagos. We have been working tirelessly before now. Before now, you know the criminals have been carrying out their nefarious act at the high sea; which is sea robbery.”

Abbah also said the components of Operation Awatse will partner Operation Delta Safe in the Niger Delta in order to tackle the issues of the influx of vandals and militants to Lagos waters from neighboring creeks. The FOC further said the partnership with Operation Delta Safe will see the military raid the creeks and backwaters of the Niger Delta region to arrest the rampaging militants.

He said: “Although Lagos by itself is a peaceful place but the criminals come from elsewhere. For instance, the last attack that happened on Lagos waters, we have arrested so many of them and all of them are not from Lagos. The five of them that are in our custody are not from Lagos but have their accomplice in Lagos who gives them information which we are working on to rid of all those things.

“Lagos is the hub of all activities. Anybody you kidnap in Lagos, you know that ransom can be handsomely paid so they plan their operation to operate in Lagos. However, we are not resting on our oars to tackle this. This period (ember period) you know nobody came around to kidnap this period and we have to commend the soldiers because they are working very hard to ensure everything is fine peacefully.”

On the operation he said, “This is an ongoing and continuous exercise. Our presence here today is just to meet and interact with the soldiers. We want them to share their problems and we will also address them. Before now you know Majidun is a no go area but as you can see everybody is feeling happy and operating freely and that is why we want to make all those non-penetrable areas to be safe now for everyone to carry out their businesses.

“There are certain things we don’t need to tell because if we tell you our strategies, definitely the enemies would re-strategise and strike. This is a military exercise and the essence of this is to make sure we operate peacefully. So Operation Jagunlabi is a show of force to tell those boys (the militants) wherever they are, we are here for them.

“This is a joint operation and you cannot do it alone, so that is why we need air support from the Air Force. Therefore, it’s a joint operation between the army, navy and Air Force and even elements of the police, Department of State Security and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.”

Exercise River Sweep 11

Like the broom is used to sweep the floor, the word sweep was applied for the exercise given that the deployed vessels were expected to patrol the sea area within the Western Naval Command Areas of Responsibility (AOR) up to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The three-day exercise was aimed at consolidating the successes achieved by Exercise River Sweep 1 and 2 in the Central and Eastern Naval Commands, respectively.

The exercise was divided between the air, water and land components. While the land components took care of areas like Badagry, Epe, Igbokoda and Kirikiri and Ibeju- lekki with support from several Inshore Patrol Crafts (IPCs), the sea components patrolled off Badagry and Epe waters up to 100 nautical miles of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), while the naval air wing provided aerial support with two Augusta helicopters.

The exercise yielded immediate result as a ship that was hijacked off the coast of Cotonu, which went off radar for five days until the owners alerted the navy, was found. Using the Falcon Eye, the vessel was found where the hijackers had abandoned it after siphoning the products.

Deployed for the exercise were Nigerian Navy Ship OKPABANA, which sailed in from Port Harcourt, while other vessels like NNS KARADUWA and NNS PROSPERITY and several Inshore Patrol Crafts (IPCs) were also deployed to provide patrol support for the exercise. Not left out were the two Nigerian Navy Augusta helicopters, who provided aerial support and the men of the Special Boat Services (SBS), who patrolled the backwaters.

After the debriefing by the Officer in Tactical Command, Commodore Sunday Abiodun Odedoja, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Admiral Slyvanus Abbah, took to the podium to reiterate the need for the exercise and its set objectives.

After the briefing, the FOC was handed over the flag to wave for the flag off, signifying the kick off of the exercise proper. Thus, with the flag off executed, Exercise River Sweep 11 began in earnest. After being tugged out, the Nigerian Navy Ship UNITY commanded by the Commanding Officer, Captain Abolade Ogunleye, set sail at exactly 11a.m. with a Latitude of 06.17.346 and Longitude of 002.49.306.

Meanwhile at the pre-exercise briefing, Rear Admiral Abbah, who kicked off the exercise said, “Our maritime domain is beclouded with piracy, illegal fishing and other maritime crimes. In Lagos area, we have maintained sanity for free flow of traffic in our waters and we have already registered some gains. Last year, some criminals invaded our Area of Responsibility (AOR) from the South-south to kidnap four Chinese men.

“Our men in Igbokoda in Ondo State, swooped in on them and five of them were arrested. Also, during the operation, their leader was shot dead. The suspects arrested have been handed over to the Department of State Security (DSS).”

On the platforms deployed for the exercise, he said Nigerian Navy Ship OKPABANA sailed in from Port Harcourt, while other vessels like NNS KARADUWA and NNS PROSPERITY were also deployed to provide patrol support for the exercise.

He added, “For now, Lagos waters are very calm as we have the Maritime Domain Awareness Centre that we use to monitor the sea and deploy men if need be to quench any situation. It will be stating the obvious to note that the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok Ette-Ibas, has zero tolerance for maritime criminalities.

“Thus, in line with his body language, the command has arrested 22 vessels for illegal activities between July 2017 to date. Meanwhile, for this Exercise River Sweep, some successes have already been recorded as some arrests have been made on the kickoff of the exercise.”

At the end of the 24-hour patrol, the vessels sailed back to the jetty of the Naval Dockyard for the debriefing to take place. At the debriefing, the commanders of all the participating vessels rendered their reports while the officer-in-tactical command filed his observations.

Given the resources expended for the exercise, it’s therefore expected for the navy to build on becoming a stronger force capable of maintaining constant presence at sea and eliminating maritime illegalities to the barest minimum.

Source: This Day


I, Pirate

I, Pirate – A Cyber Story in the Maritime Industry

Written by Aybars Oruc

I, Robot – 2004 film adapted from short-story of American author Isaac Asimov has an interesting scene. Two detectives are talking, and we are hearing this dialogue:

• I guess we’re gonna miss the good old days.
• What good old days?
– When people were killed by other people.

In this story, the theme is about robots that start to take place of humans. Well, in the future, are we, seamen be replaced by technology?

Even though we cannot talk about unmanned ships, it is possible to talk about unmanned ship projects. For instance, MUNIN (Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence in Networks) project is a significant one that influenced marine sector, and bothered every seaman who heard this project. For some, this is all imaginary project. However, others believe that this project cannot be stopped and will entirely change the maritime sector. Today, people who are developing this project where navigational areas for testing are determined have only one question in hand: Cyber attack

In general sense, cyber attack is known as damaging or steeling information by infiltrating to computer systems by expert individuals or institutions on computers and internet. Generally, cyber attacks happen for entertainment, information theft, to achieve economic gain, to attracted attention, or to get ready for larger attacks.

Despite warnings of major maritime authorities and class institutions such as IMO, BIMCO, ICS, INTERTANKO, it is almost impossible to say that this attack type was considered in the maritime industry until few months ago. However, as Danish centred giant maritime company Maersk experienced cyber attack in June 2017 and lost nearly $300 million, cyber attack become an important topic.

Close your eyes and image your ECDIS, GPS, and even AIS devices are hacked. Imagine that your main engine stopped running during navigation in narrow waters. Now open your eyes, because this is all happening in the maritime industry.

After a cyber attack on your vessel, you may notice that you are on a different location than you should be, and you may suddenly run ashore. Your vessel may collide with another one. The type of vessel may be aframax, chemical tanker or even LPG. In such cases, try to imagine possible effect on you, vessel, cargo or marine environment. How many people would die?

Main systems that could be affected from cyber attack in a merchant vessel can be listed as follows:

• Bridge Navigation Systems (GPS, ECDIS, AIS etc.)
• Communication Systems (V-SAT, FBB etc.)
• Mechanical Systems (Main Engine, Auxiliary Engine, Steering Gear etc.)
• Ship Monitoring and Security Systems (CCTV, SSAS, Access Control Systems etc.)
• Cargo Handling Systems (V/V Remote Control Systems, Level/Pressure Monitoring Systems etc.

Well, is it possible to protect these systems above and prevent any damages from the attack? Let’s take a look. Now around the world, many people are trying to find an answer to this question. But, it is hard to give concrete answer. Although it is impossible to escape the attack, risks can be mitigated. Risks can be minimised by keeping the software updated, using antivirus software, developing redundancy methods, changing default passwords after installing the devices, restricting file sharing, constantly monitoring network configurations (see also Penetration Test), eliminating all problematic areas, and increasing awareness and knowledge level of office staff and ship crew.

Also, we should consider some international developments about this subject. Here at this point, under IMO-ISM Code, all shipping companies are mandatory to add “Guidelines on Maritime Cyber Risk Management” manual to their SMS manuals until 01 January 2021. Additionally, TMSA regulations where the 3rd version will be become valid on 01 January 2018, are also putting challenges on company managers like IMO-ISM Code rules. Staring with flag states and class institutions, various reputable organisations or institutions around the world are organising training programs and publishing circulars regarding cyber attack to raise awareness in the maritime industry. DNV-GL, one of the reputable class institutions, started to offer type verification certificate for cyber security for the first time in November 2017. Insurance companies also started to add cyber security related subjects and clauses on the policies. Designation compulsory of a Cyber Security Officer (CySO) for the maritime companies has been already discussed. These are only some part of the bigger picture.

– I guess we’re gonna miss the good old days.
– What good old days?
– Somalian pirates instead of cyber-pirates. At least, we could notice them before they are done with us.

Source: Marsec Review


Six ASEAN Nations Begin Intelligence-Sharing Effort

Six Southeast Asian countries on Thursday kicked off an information and intelligence-sharing initiative aimed at helping them to respond more quickly and accurately to cross-border security threats.

Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and senior defense officials from Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines were on hand for the soft launch of the “Our Eyes Initiative” after a day of hashing out the operation details.

“As the ASEAN region is facing real threats, the soft launch of Our Eyes will hopefully provide the right impetus for defense leadership in the fight against terrorism and radicalism in the region,” Ryamizard said.

Ryamizard added that cooperation among the six nations could eventually be expanded to other security areas and include other ASEAN members.

By exchanging information, participating ASEAN member-states will be faster and more accurate in tackling terrorist threats, he said.

“Given that each country has a different way of handling threats, synergy and coordination are needed to obtain strategic information,” he added.


Indonesia proposed the “mini-Interpol” in October at the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting in the Philippines, shortly after that country defeated militants linked to the Islamic State (IS) who occupied the southern Philippine city of Marawi. Fleeing combatants could seek refuge in other countries, Ryamizard warned at the time.

Malaysian and Indonesian nationals were among foreign fighters killed in Marawi, but others are known to have escaped the five-month battle.

Nations in the region are also wary of foreign fighters returning home from Syria and Iraq now that IS has been defeated there.

The concept for “Our Eyes” comes from the “Five Eyes” intel-sharing pact among Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

John Blaxland, an intelligence analyst from Australian National University, said ASEAN nations have had a “high level of distrust” around intelligence cooperation and called the multilateral initiative “ a significant development.”

“ASEAN has long struggled with getting beyond superficiality when it comes to collaboration on security matters,” Reuters news agency quoted him as saying.

The United States also agreed to provide sophisticated tools to support the effort,  Ryamizard said earlier this week after meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis in Jakarta.

Holistic approaches

Malaysian Deputy Defense Minister Mohammad Johari welcomed the new effort.

“As we face the various security threats and challenges – complex and trans-boundary in nature – it imposes upon us the need to formulate a new collective perspective that is agreeable and workable in our region,” he said in remarks delivered at the launch.

“We should embark on holistic approaches between the governments using hard power and soft power methods so that we could eliminate the threat of Daesh and other forms of terrorism in our region,” he said, using an alternate name for IS.

He noted that Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines had launched trilateral maritime and air patrols in 2017 in an effort to end piracy, maritime kidnappings and other illegal activity in the Sulu Sea, which lies between the three countries.

Earlier this month, the Philippine and Indonesian militaries agreed to boost cooperation to monitor cross-border movements of their respective nationals, such as by establishing a hotline to alert one another about security and terrorist threats along their shared frontier.

Source: Benar News


Amaechi At Chatham House UK, Says FG Approves Integrated Maritime Security

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has disclosed that the federal government has approved an Integrated National Security Strategy (INSS) for the Nigerian maritime sector.

According to him, the strategy which will be implemented in collaboration with other countries in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) is aimed to stem the tide of insecurity on the region’s territorial waterways.

Amaechi, who made this known during a paper presentation titled: ‘Nigeria’s role in responding to the causes and consequences of maritime insecurity’ at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London in United Kingdom, stated further that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is already implementing a comprehensive maritime strategy in collaboration with other partners in order to enhance the fight against piracy attacks in the region.

Accordingly, he hinted the audience that “in pursuit of this objective, President Muhammadu Buhari visited Malabo in Equatorial Guinea last year, where the two countries signed an agreement on the establishment of combined Maritime Policing and Security Patrol committee to enhance the security of the Gulf of Guinea and help curb maritime crimes like piracy, crude oil theft and smuggling.”

Speaking further, Amaechi noted that NIMASA had established a command and control centre for enhanced situation awareness, response capability, law enforcement and regional cooperation among others, all geared towards an enhanced water security and by extension, the entire country.

The minister also used the opportunity to assure the international community that the anti-piracy bill which is currently before the National Assembly would hopefully be passed before the end of this legislative year.

On his part, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who also delivered a paper at theChatham House, London, titled: ‘The problem of maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea is real…’, noted that the agency through collaboration with other relevant government bodies is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring zero tolerance to all forms of piracy and illegalities on the country’s territorial waterways and the entire Gulf of Guinea.

The director-general also noted that the Federal Government of Nigeria has adopted a multi-dimensional interventional approach to tackle the issues relating to piracy namely: legal/legislative approach through the pushing of the enactment of the anti-piracy law, proper policy framework through presidential intervention on maritime security to build regional coalition and corporation; regulatory and operational approach through effective enforcement of port and flagged state control and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Navy and Air Force to increase response capacity among others.

Speaking further, he also highlighted four strategic pillars the agency has adopted to tackle the issue of piracy tagged: ‘Total Spectrum Maritime Strategy: namely, situational awareness, law enforcement, response capability and regional cooperation all aimed at achieving a virile and robust maritime sector.

Peterside, who is the current Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA), also assured the international community that NIMASA would continue to collaborate with other relevant bodies both locally and internationally in order to realise its vision of a prosperous maritime sector in Nigeria and the West and Central Africa sub-region.

While calling for continuous collaboration among partners across different continents, the NIMASA DG noted that improved profiling and information sharing on maritime criminality and illegality, enhanced maritime domain awareness and surface to air patrol capabilities, functional legal framework, integration of national inter-agency efforts, youth empowerment programmes among others are factors that can help bring solutions to the issues surrounding insecurity in the maritime space.

Source: This Day


Hezbollah May Use Suicide Ships In Next War, Former Naval Officer Warns

The Israeli Navy should anticipate Hezbollah using suicide ships in the next war with the terrorist group, R.-Adm. Prof. Shaul Chorev told The Jerusalem Post.

“Hezbollah will not need to equip themselves with ships like Israel, but we must assume they will use asymmetric warfare to challenge Israeli technology like land-to-sea missiles or suicide ships like you see in Yemen,” Chorev, a former deputy chief of naval operations, said following a special geo-strategy conference organized by University of Haifa’s Research Center for Maritime Policy & Strategy and the Chaikin Chair for Geostrategy.

Iran and Hezbollah advisers have been aiding Yemen’s Houthi rebels in their fight against the Saudi-led coalition. In January of last year, two Saudi sailors were killed when Houthi rebels rammed the side of a Saudi frigate off the coast of Yemen with a small boat before a suicide bomber detonated the vessel.

According to Chorev, while it is not in Hezbollah’s interest to start a war with the Jewish state, “when you look at their strategy, it is clear that they will target Israeli strategic assets.”

“The next war with Hezbollah could see a focus on the sea,” he warned.

Israel is highly dependent on the sea with more than 90% of Israel’s imports arriving via boat. But according to Chorev, there is a major lack of awareness about the maritime domain, both among government leaders and the public.

Senior naval officers have told the Post that Hezbollah is a “clear and major enemy” that continues to grow in terms of battlefield experience and their arsenal of advanced weaponry from Iran which has expanded its presence in the eastern Mediterranean due to the civil war in Syria.

“Iran – which supports the Assad regime in Syria – participates in the war alongside Russia and has exploited the situation in order to upgrade its status in the region to almost that of a regional superpower,” Chorev wrote in the center’s 2017-2018 Maritime Strategic Assessment for Israel.

Iran “is on the verge of reaching the Mediterranean, including the use of Syrian ports by the Iranian navy,” he added.

“Iranian ports in the eastern Mediterranean are a real risk for Israel,” Chorev said, stressing that the US and Russia must be persuaded to stop the Iranian Navy from gaining a foothold in Syria.

With fighting raging in neighboring Syria and because of the continued decline of the US involvement in the eastern Mediterranean, the Russian Navy has increased its presence in the area over the past few years.

“The Russians have come into the Middle East taking over from the Americans who have neglected the eastern Mediterranean,” Chorev said, adding that the Russians may limit the operational activity of Israel’s navy.

Similar to the deconfliction mechanism in place between Moscow and Jerusalem over the skies of Syria, Israeli officials have stated that while the navy does not plan to expand any sort of cooperation with the Russian Navy, there is clear communication between the two for preventative safety reasons.

The Israeli Navy is relatively small compared to other IDF corps, but it has a significant amount of territory to protect since the expansion of the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) from 40 miles (65 km.) to 150 miles (240 km.) four years ago.

The navy is also tasked with securing the natural gas drilling rigs that are in Israel’s EEZ, clear targets for enemies on Israel’s northern border. The IDF believes that Hezbollah has long-range missiles that can hit the rigs, which supply a large amount of the electricity used in Israel.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News


Maersk Line invests heavily to secure its ops from cyber-attacks

Terming the 2017 cyber-attack as an “extremely difficult” episode, global shipping giant Maersk Line has said it has invested in network to ensure that its operations here do not get impacted by any such global breach in the future.

“We have revised our system architecture to reduce some amount of the risks,” its India managing director Steve Felder told PTI here.

“If there is a future attack, we would be able to contain it locally,” he added.

He said the June 2017 ransom-ware attack, which started due to a breach in Ukraine and impacted the systems of parent APM Groups all companies, was “extremely difficult”.

The “silver-lining”, Felder said, was how all the key stakeholders, including customers, authorities and employees reacted to the attack, he said.

Overnight, the company switched over to operating in a manual way from the computer-based systems, while some customers supported them by increasing their bookings with us, he said.

“We had business continuity plans, we will be revising them again because I think in some markets they could have been better,” Felder said.

He said the increased investments will not impact its finances in India, which he termed as a significantly important market that contributes around 8 per cent of the global volume for the company.

At present, the company is the biggest container line operator serving India with a 19 per cent market share of the entire container volume sailing in and out of the domestic shores, he claimed.

“India has both growth and scale, unique for the container market here,” he said, adding they do not have any investment plans here.

He said there is a lot of traffic concentration on the countrys West Coast, while the East Coast sees lower volumes despite newer assets which have come up there.

When asked about transshipment ambitions of India, and how it is placed vis-a-vis Colombo, the largest such port in the vicinity, Felder said there is considerable work required.

“We are monitoring developments on the South Coast. If there is a viable port built there, obviously, we will consider it,” he said.

It can be noted that India is currently developing an international transshipment terminal at Vizhinjam in Kerala which will address this opportunity.

Though the Cochin international transshipment terminal in Kochi has been operational labour issues and lower volumes have ensured that the terminal does not succeed.

While the upcoming Vizhinjam terminal is being developed by the Adani group, the Kochi terminal is a JV between the state-run Cochin port trust and the DP World.

“You have to have the sufficient capacity and draft so that you can cater for the large vessels. Second thing is you have to have the customs framework in place and it should be cost competitive,” he said.

Felder said from a margin perspective, India is more favourable.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News


CTF 150 nets an enormous drugs haul in the Indian Ocean

International assets from Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), teamed up in a counter drugs operation in the Indian Ocean on January 24, 2018, seizing 834 bags of heroin weighing 915 kilograms. This is the fourth confiscation of drugs in recent months by CTF 150, currently under Australian leadership with a combined Australian and Canadian staff.

Whilst conducting patrols in support of CTF 150, in the Western Indian Ocean on 23 January 2018, a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) detected a suspicious dhow. Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Warramunga closed in on the suspicious vessel and further investigations led to the boarding of the dhow on 24 January.

Commodore Mal Wise, the Commander of CTF 150, said “The interoperability between nations is key to the success of CTF 150 in enhancing maritime security in the region. CTF 150 has had remarkable success in recent weeks, working with assets from several partner nations within CMF. The close operation between Australia and New Zealand on this interdiction is an example of how nations working together can have a significant regional impact.”

During the searches, it was determined that the vessel was without nationality and the crew may be involved in illegal activity. CTF 150 was authorised to conduct searches of the suspect vessel and in the process located a quantity of drugs. HMAS Warramunga quickly investigated, and during the course of boarding operations, discovered heroin valued at over $220 million USD*.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Warramunga, Commander Dugald Clelland, Royal Australian Navy, commented that the operation was a team effort between partner nations in CTF 150, stating: “The RNZAF aircraft was able to identify the vessel and direct us to a successful boarding and seizure, removing a very significant quantity of illegal drugs.”

This is the fourth interdiction of illegal drugs since Australia took the helm of CTF 150 in November 2017 and brings the total drugs seized to more than 11 tonnes of hashish and one tonne of heroin, valued in excess of $700 million USD. The illegal drugs were then transferred to HMAS Warramunga for safe disposal at sea.

Media note: *This calculation is based on the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Illicit Drug Data Report 2015–16 figures for Cannabis Resin (Hashish) at $50 AUD /$39 USD per gram (p215) and Heroin at $300,000 AUD / $235,000 USD per kilogram (p 216).

Source: Combined Maritime Forces


Merchant vessel targeted with attempted boarding

A merchant vessel experienced an attempted boarding while off Lagos, Nigeria, in the Gulf of Guinea, according to a piracy alert.

The ship’s crew sounded the alarm during the incident at 0001 UTC Saturday at the port’s anchorage area, according to a bulletin from the Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade-Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG).

The crew also contacted a security vessel, at which time the attacker fled. The approached ship was not named in the alert.

Nothing was stolen, and the vessel and crew are safe, MDAT-GoG reported.

Vessels transiting the area are advised to exercise extreme caution.

The episode occurred three days after a bulk carrier was reportedly fired upon Wednesday in the Bight of Bonny.

No one was hurt as the ship sped away while two or three men in two speed boats approached on the starboard beam and shot at it, MDAT-Gog stated.

The ship, also not named in the report, was attacked 40 nautical miles south of Nigeria’s Bonny Fairway Buoy.

Last Sunday, a cement carrier was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden but was reported safe in the high-risk area off of Somalia.

Source: Tradewinds


Cybersecurity In The Maritime Industry

The global shipping industry – much like air, road and rail transportation – is undergoing a technological revolution. From hull cleaning to collision avoidance systems, automation has made incredible advances in recent years. There is more to come, too. Norwegian company Yara has partnered with the engineering group Kongsberg with plans to launch the world’s first automated container ship in 2018. Rolls-Royce is also joining the fray, having revealed plans in September to build autonomous naval vessels.

There are good reasons for embracing these innovations. For starters, unmanned ships are thought to be potentially safer and more fuel efficient. Automation also frees seafarers from the drudgery of paperwork. But these benefits come at a cost. One of the key challenges in the coming years (and one of the focal topics of BLG’s Maritime Law Seminar on December 1, 2017), is how the shipping industry will cope with the growing threat from cyber attacks.

“Ships have an opening to the outside world,” Chris South, a senior underwriter for West of England P&I, told the audience present at the seminar in Montréal. “And wherever there is an opening there is a vulnerability.”

A recent case in point is shipping company Maersk, which suffered $300 million in damages following a hit by the NotPetya ransomware outbreak in June of 2017. The shipping giant picked up an infection that spread into its global network and was forced to halt operations at dozens of port terminals around the world.

“Four factors are at play in the maritime industry”, said South. The first is automation itself, as machinery on vessels is increasingly controlled by software. The second is integration. On any given vessel, there may be multiple systems connected together. The third is the ability of ship-to-shore systems that communicate via remote monitoring. “Ships are now talking to head offices continuously,” says South. The fourth factor is that all these systems are connected through the internet.

Virtually any company that now relies on these systems is exposed to a cyber cascade of sorts, South added, “where one part of the industry ends up infecting another.” So a shipping company’s systems might get infected at headquarters. The infection then spreads to the ship and charterers before moving on to ports and terminals, the logistic companies and ultimately the manufacturing plants receiving the merchandise.

Too big to cover?
The alarming question for insurers in the maritime industry, who view cyber as a growing systemic risk, is “where does the liability stop?” Insurers have voiced concern that the risks are too big for them to cover alone – without government intervention.

Understandably, cyber and data risk insurance is limited when it comes to coverage. “A typical cyber risks policy will cover breach costs, such as forensic investigations, legal advice and those associated with notifying customers and regulators”, said South. It will also cover business interruption; repair and replacement of websites, programs and data caused by hackers; extortion; and the cost to defend and settle claims made for failing to keep customers’ personal data secure. “But it does not substitute or replace the covers lost,” South warned.

New laws on the horizon
One area where governments are stepping in is on the legislative front. Data security breaches are nothing new, but gone are the days when organizations could conveniently sweep them under the rug. “Canada is the latest country about to implement a new breach notification regime”, said Éloïse Gratton, a BLG partner and nationally renowned expert in privacy and data protection.

Following recent amendments to Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), private-sector organizations doing business in Canada must report the breach to the Privacy Commissioner and, generally, notify customers if there is a risk of significant harm resulting from a data security breach. Gratton expects regulations prescribing the breach notification process in Canada to be in place as early as during the first quarter of 2018.

“There are record-keeping obligations,” she added. “When you have a security incident you’re supposed to keep the data.” The duration of record keeping is still being decided by the Privacy Commissioner, but could possibly extend to as long as five years. Organizations that suffer a breach must also be mindful of additional provincial breach notification regimes in Québec, Alberta and British Columbia. Additionally, most states in the U.S. also have breach notification laws on the books.

Another game changer, said Gratton, is the coming into force in May 2018 of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which applies to any processing of personal data, namely its collection, use, disclosure or storage. Under the GDPR, organizations that suffer a breach must notify the relevant national data protection regulator as well as anyone who has been affected, and where the breach is likely to result in high risk to their rights and freedoms. Fines for non-compliance are considerable — up to 4 percent of an organization’s annual worldwide turnover or €20m. The GDPR also creates a right of private action against data controllers and data processors.

“Complicating matters further”, Gratton said, “the EU regulation has extra-territorial reach”. It applies to organizations that offer goods and services to European residents or who monitor their behaviour, through the use of persistent cookies for instance. That includes businesses based outside of the EU.

How far liability extends will also depend in part on the contractual terms. Contractors are increasingly required to meet cybersecurity standards, and can be held liable for damages to a company’s systems as a result of a virus or malware introduced by an agent or employee.

Being prepared and mitigating the damage
To safeguard ships from cyber threats, companies should follow International Maritime Organization approved guidelines on cyber risk management, which focus on identifying the systems, data and capabilities that pose a risk to operations, when these are disrupted. To do that, companies must implement risk control processes and have the ability to detect cyber events in a timely manner. They must also be able to back-up and restore systems necessary for shipping operations or services impaired following a cyber event.

To mitigate the damage that can result from a breach, Gratton urges organizations to have a breach incident response plan in place well in advance. “You have to know who your internal core team is, and who your external team is,” she said. That includes legal, forensic, PR, and information security experts.

It is also advisable, when responding to a breach, to ask legal counsel to retain and deal with cyber forensic experts for the purposes of maintaining solicitor-client privilege.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News


Niger Delta militants list key oil assets targeted for destruction

Following three weeks of consultations and meetings across the Niger Delta region, the group, in resolutions adopted in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, yesterday, also gave Fulani herdsmen one months to the vacate the region or face dire consequences. Signatories to the resolution included, but not limited to John Duku (Niger Delta Watchdogsand Convener, Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators; Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers), Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors) and Simply Benjamin (Bakassi Strike Force).
Warn Fulani herdsmen to steer clear of Nigeria Delta Vow to deal with any Niger Delta governor who allows colony By Egufe Yafugborhi PORT HARCOURT – A Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators yesterday listed a number of oil fields and installations as targets for resumed attacks if Federal Government failed to address specific grievances agitating the region.
The resolutions spelt a 90-day ultimatum to the Federal Government (FG) to implement restructuring and resource control, return oil blocs in the region to the Niger Delta people and ensure relocation of the oil & gas companies headquarters to the region. It says, “Otherwise, there would be no one Nigeria. We shall officially declare Niger Delta Republic after 90 days, if the Federal Government fails to implement the above demands. “We also demand that all the Northerners living in the Niger Delta to quit the region if the Federal Government fails to implement the above demands within the stipulated time. We also call on our people living in the North to also return to the Niger Delta for their safety. “Our principal targets are Usan, Ima, Okoro/Setu and Asabo oil fields, Okwok, Asuokpu/Umutu fields, OML 112, OML 117, Ebok, Obe oil field, Akpo, OPL 215, 840, OPL 733, 809, 810, 722, 905, 246, 110, 112, 117 etc, other facilities also marked by our strike team are Total Nigeria Ltd, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Intels and Adax Petroleum” On the menace of herdsmen, the group said, “The massive killings all over the country by Fulani herdsmen are fully sponsored by top government functionaries, especially the security chiefs, who supply them with weapons with sole aim of achieving cattle colony and Islamic agenda. “The idea of having cattle colony was already in the mind of President Buhari before he contested the 2015 election.
The whole world can now see the reason he appointed all security chiefs from the North, including DG of NIA, who is supposed to be replaced by someone from the South. “The Coalition believes that the killings by the Fulani herdsmen are direct invitation to civil war and we are fully prepared to fight with the last drop of blood to protect the Niger Delta people and her territorial environment. “The Coalition also condemns the endorsement of the President as APC candidate for 2019 election by some self-centered governors and politicians. Those calling on President Buhari to seek re-election are the real enemies of Nigeria. “A government that launched “Operation Crocodile Smile I & II” in the Niger Delta, despite the peaceful atmosphere, in the region. “Operation Python Dance I & II” in the South East destroyed people and properties just to silence IPOB and further declare a non-violent IPOB as terrorist organization. “It would suddenly turn deaf ears on terrorist activities of Fulani herdsmen taking place all over the country on daily basis. We shall no longer tolerate any further bloodshed within the Niger Delta states by the terrorists Fulani herdsmen. “We shall ensure that our people are protected from every Fulani terrorist; it is very unfortunate that the government that swore to protect the lives and properties of its citizens has suddenly become sectional government, and lacks powers to protect the masses. “And we warn that any Niger Delta governor that accepts cattle colony would be dealt with as the enemy of the Niger Delta. We don’t want Fulanis among us, they are our enemies”

Source: Vanguard
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