Piracy Report Indian Ocean: Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles

Piracy Report Indian Ocean: Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles


The purpose of this report is to provide an assessment of the potential threat from piracy and maritime crime in the Indian Ocean and, in particular, near the Maldives, Mauritius and the Seychelles.

Between 1 January and 31 October 2016, there were no incidents recorded by the Securewest International Global Response Centre (GRC) in close proximity of these three island countries.

Historically, Somali pirates with the use of motherships were able to extend their area of operations hundreds of miles off the Somalia coast, but the Maldives, Mauritius and the Seychelles were largely unaffected.

Reported incidents involved mostly commercial vessels and as Figures 1 and 2 below show, between 2010 and 2016, there has not been a piracy-related event in the report area. Incidents in the region have declined and are also moving closer to the Somali coast again.

Since December 2015, due to the decline of piracy incidents in the region, the Maldives and Mauritius are no longer part of the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) High Risk Area (HRA).

As of now, the Seychelles are still within the southern limits of it:

Indian Ocean table2

While there has been no successful hijacking of large commercial vessels in almost four years, according to an UN annual report from 7 October 2016 “Pirate activity has increasingly shifted to the hijacking for ransom of dhows and foreign fishing vessels”. However, these events usually take place closer to the Somali coast.

Figure 1: Incident history between 01 January -31 October 2016

Three incidents in the region since the beginning of the year were documented by the Securewest GRC. They did not occur near the Maldives, Mauritius or the Seychelles and also did not involve yachts. While yachts have been pirated in the past, the vast majority of hijacked vessels have been commercial vessels.

Piracy in the region has drastically decreased over the years, however key stakeholders continue to emphasise that Somali piracy has not been eradicated and that pirates continue to have the capability to resume attacks at any time.


Figure 2: Incident history between 01 January -31 October 2010: 76 incidents



Maldives: The nearest incident was a suspicious vessel that was spotted on 14 May, about 347nm NW of the Maldives.

 The nearest incident was the hijacking of a fishing vessel on 07 October about 360nm NW of Mauritius.

 The nearest incident involved the hijacking of two fishing vessels on 28 October around 25nm NW off Denis Island.

2011: 72 incidents


Maldives: The nearest incident involved an attack on a MV on 01 February about 200nm SW of Thuraakunu Island, Maldives.

Mauritius: The nearest incident occurred on 02 March, when a bulk carrier was approached about 60nm SE of Mauritius.

Seychelles: The nearest incident was when a mothership was observed about 120nm NW of Bird Island.

2012: 21 incidents


Maldives: No incident in proximity.

 No incident in proximity.

 The nearest incident was an approach about 240nm E of the Seychelles.



2013: 11 incidents


No noteworthy incident in proximity to the Maldives, Mauritius or the Seychelles.






2014: 9 incidents



No noteworthy incident in proximity to the Maldives, Mauritius or the Seychelles.






2015: 6 incidents



No noteworthy incident in proximity to the Maldives or Mauritius.

Seychelles: This is crime and not piracy related: There were a few incidents in July 2015, when robbers boarded a few catamarans near Port Victoria and stole valuables.
Source: Securewest




Type of Incident 2


Approach: An incident where weapons are trained on the vessel or pirate paraphernalia such as weapons, ladders, are observed and the intention to conduct an attack is clear.

Attack: An incident where weapons are discharged by pirates or pirate paraphernalia such as ladder, grappling hook, make contact with the vessel.

Unauthorized seizure and retention of a vessel by persons not part of its complement.

A vessel captures by pirates predominately to be used to commit acts of piracy against other ships. Pirates remain on board and are in full control of vessel and crew.

Pirated Vessel:
A vessel captured by pirates on the high seas or within territorial waters. Pirates have full control of both vessel and the crew.Robbery: Theft from a vessel or from persons aboard the vessel.

Suspicious Approach:
All other unexplained activity in close proximity by an unknown vessel.

For further information or to find out more about Securewest’s services please contact:

Wayne Britton
Email: waynebritton@securewest.com
Website: www.securewest.com






*Images: Google Maps; Securewest International


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