On the night of March 25, about 144 nautical miles west of Pointe Noire (Congo), the oil tanker Monjasa Reformer was attacked by a skiff with 5 armed men. The vessel, flying the Liberian flag, was en route from Pointe Noire to Lome (Togo).
The pirates fired shots at the ship and boarded it. The crew was taken to the citadel. The ship stopped transmitting AIS a few hours later.
Following the orders of the French Atlantic Command, the high seas patrol boat Premier Maitre l’Her left the port of Libreville to reach the last known position of the Monjasa Reformer.
Thus, search was conducted in coordination with the navies of the region. The MRCC in Monrovia and the Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT Gog) have not yet been able to locate the vessel.
According to an unconfirmed report from EOS Risk Group, the Monjasa may have travelled up to 470 nautical miles since the last AIS position. The searche has not established any visual or radio contact with the vessel yet.
This year, there have been few high-profile piracy incidents. The main interactions were shootings or approaches to vessels by suspicious craft.
However, authorities and analysts are urging shipowners to remain cautious in the area. The International Maritime Bureau said there were only 19 piracy incidents in 2022, compared with 35 in 2021 and 84 in 2020.