A Sweden-flagged passenger vessel, HAWA III (registered name SAGA LEJON), has been arrested for suspected involvement in serious maritime crime and piracy.
The vessel is currently anchored at Libreville Port, Komo river, near the Gulf of Guinea.
The 58.93 metres long and 11.74 metres wide, HAWA III has been operational within West Africa since November 2017. Analysis by a leading Maritime security firm, Dryad Global, indicates that the vessel arrived at Gabon from Lomé, Togo on the morning of the 15 June. The vessel regularly transits between Lomé and Libreville as well as having calls in Nigeria.
Between January and June 2020 there have been 4 kidnapping incidents off Gabon. This represents a significant increase in activity. Within the same time period in 2019 there were no incidents reported in this location. It remains unknown whether this vessel was indeed involved in piracy or responsible for piracy off Gabon.
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Further details are not yet revealed and an investigation has been started.