The case with the two U.S. crew members that were kidnapped by pirates and recently released provoked the claims that a ransom of $2 million was paid. Many are concerned that this case will lead to more pirate attacks. Other pirates in the Gulf of Guinea will be tempted to become more active and to sneak for more hostages.
Negotiations with pirates even motivate them to be more persistent in future attacks. Fears are emerging that the release of the 2 U.S. crew and the ransom will be the start of more serious attacks by pirates in the region.
A month ago a $2 million was paid for the freedom of the master and the chief engineer from C-Retriever, an Edison Chouest-owned offshore supply vessel off Nigeria. There are many speculations about this case and it is possible money was delivered to pirates by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The fortune paid for the release could make the pirates more greedy. In the past the ransom asked by the pirates for Nigerian taken hostages was near $50,000-$100,000, considerably lower compared with the kidnapped U.S. crew.
West African Gulf of Guinea is an important maritime trade route and this year statistics shows 30% increase in the pirate attacks.
The two U.S. crew were kidnapped after a pirate attack on the 23rd of October, when pirates armed with fire weapon started an assault against the American registered, 222 feet (67 meter) long ship C-Retriever. Additional details were not released by the US State Department because of "privacy reasons".
Piracy in this par of of Africa (West) is not the same as the already popular piracy, on the Eastern side of Africa, off the coast of Somalia. Pirate attacks in Somalia are now opposed by onboard armed security guards, further more pirates there have to attack ships moving at high speed while in West Africa, vessels have to be anchored for commercial purposes with still no substantial guard.