Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Nigerian pirates extend reach off West Africa

As the afternoon sun glinted off the waters in Ivory Coast's port of Abidjan, a team of gendarmes set out in a leaky wooden pirogue with no weapons and nothing more than mobile phones for communication.

Their mission: to hold the front line against piracy in the world's new hotspot for maritime crime, the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of West Africa.

"This is how we work every day," grumbled one man as their outboard motor sputtered out, setting them adrift amid bobbing plastic bottles. "We don't even have life vests."