The Chief of Navy Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, has rejected data released by the International Maritime Bureau that Ghana recorded the highest number of piracy incidents globally last year.
“Let me state categorically that the impression created is utterly misleading and disingenuous,” he stated. “Let me state categorically that none of the incidents of petty thefts that occurred on some vessels at the Takoradi Port and anchorage fit any of the two definitions [of piracy].”
He said in none of those incidents was violence used, and none of those vessels reported seeing any intruders onboard, but all they reported was the detection of missing petty items such as paints and ropes stowed on the upper decks, which were outside of Irving spaces of the vessels.
Speaking at a handing over ceremony of two vehicles from the Danish government to the Ghana Navy on Friday, he said: “It is clearly the responsibility of every vessel to keep proper watch onboard to ensure that miscreants do not sneak onboard to steal petty items and sneak out without being detected.”
He indicated that what exacerbates the problem was that most of the vessels do not report such incidents to the local authorities on detection, but chose to report to their parent companies overseas, thereby denying the local authorities the opportunity to act swiftly on the incidents.
Rear Admiral Yakubu stated that the report was at the backdrop where the Ghana Navy was working in collaboration with other agencies to nip piracy of its waters.
He added that over the last two years, the Ghana Navy and its international partners were building capacity and information sharing, increased presence at sea, and the deployment of armed guards on fishing vessels.
“Let me repeat that no violent attack or kidnapping has occurred against vessels in our waters in the last two years,” he stressed.
He explained that the donation of the vehicles to the Special Boat Squadron of the Navy was to enable it build a robust force capable of conducting all kinds of specialised operations at sea.
According to him, the donation would further improve the logistics support towards a 5-year Development Plan, as the Danish government had taken a decision to relocate its prefabricated mobile camp from Mali to the Naval Training Command to serve as the Special Boat Squadron training camp.
Rear Admiral Yakubu thanked the Danish Ambassador to Ghana for the support and gave him the assurance that the vehicles would be well maintained.
The Danish Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Tom Norring, added that the vehicles were to support the Navy’s operations.
He urged the Navy to work on a limited budget as it was crucial to get most resources.