Niger Delta pirates strike again, kidnap four tanker crew

At least four crewmembers have been kidnapped when a group of armed men hijacked a chemical tanker underway some 32 nautical miles South West of Bonny Island.

“Ten armed pirates in a black speed boat approached and opened fire at a chemical tanker underway. They boarded the tanker using a grappling hook and ladder,” the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) said.

The attack took place on Saturday.

The crew raised the alarm and non-essential crewmembers retreated to the citadel. After an hour, the pirates left the tanker with four kidnapped crew, the report said.

However, a report from the Protection Vessels International for the same day reads that a Panama-flagged oil tanker was attacked in the Gulf of Guinea, alleging that the pirates took five crewmembers.

The remaining crewmembers are reported to have sailed the tanker to a safe port.

The name of the ship is yet to be confirmed.

The kidnapping is evidence of the increase in reported abductions targeting vessels in the Gulf of Guinea since January, as pirates continue to favour kidnap for ransom over oil theft as a funding method.


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