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UN: Piracy and organized crime perpetuate poverty in West Africa January 14,2022   |  Source: OCCRP

The scourge of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has led to costs upwards of US$1.9 billion a year for the nearly two dozen West African states which line it, according to a recent discussion at the United Nations Security Council.

Currently the gulf is the world's number one hotspot for maritime piracy, and the issue is proving far more difficult to address than past hotspots like the waters off Somalia.

It’s not just sailors, who more often than their cargo are the targets of the pirates, that suffer. The crime is having a significant impact for communities on land as well.

“These billions represent lost potential, and funds that could otherwise be invested in illicit economies and in developing coastal communities — funds that are needed now more than ever in the continuing COVID-19 crisis,” said Ghada Fathi Waly, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC,) in a briefing to the Council.

According to Fathi Waly, organized crime, both on sea and land, is fed by local corruption and has led to a state of instability which has left many in desperate situations and led to a rise in violence.

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Theme(s): Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods.

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