A group of pirates have kidnapped 19 sailors after waylaying then boarding a supertanker loaded with oil, according to reports. Among the 19 crews are 18 Indians and one Turk were on board a large crude carrier. They were abducted 66 nautical miles, south of Bonny offshore terminal, Nigeria, late on Tuesday.
The Hong Kong-flagged crude supertanker the Nave Constellation, owned by Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation, was attacked during the evening hours of Dec. 3 while the ship was traveling through Nigerian waters. The ship had 26 crew members on board but 7 remained on board.
The string of attacks suggests a well-armed and resourceful pirate action group, most likely operating from one or more “mothership”-type vessels, with other smaller, nimbler crafts at their disposal.
Shortly before the abduction, a chief officer on the ship wh who was also taken hostage had called his wife in Mumbai. Due to security reasons, the identity of the office have not been disclosed.
As per now no information was revealed about the whereabouts of the abducted crew and their fates not yet confirmed.
Experts say that more than 80% of crew kidnappings worldwide now occur in the Gulf of Guinea, with pirates increasingly kidnapping crews for ransom rather than stealing cargoes.
A Nigerian navy official said the ship had not requested an escort away from the terminal(BBC).
According to BBC, the Nigerian authorities and a Greek shipping company are searching for 19 crew members who have been kidnapped from an oil supertanker off Nigeria.
In June, BBC reported that this region have been the number spot of piracy in Nigeria.