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Pirates kidnap 19 seafarers from VLCC off Nigeria

PortandTerminal.com, December 4, 2019

The piracy situation in West Africa worsens with a VLCC raided by armed men yesterday and 19 crew kidnapped.

LAGOS, NIGERIA – Nineteen crew members of a tanker vessel identified as Nave Constellation have been kidnapped by pirates. The attack occurred while the vessel was sailing around 100 nautical miles off Bonny Island, Nigeria on December 3, 2019, Dryad Global reports.

18 of the taken crew are believed to be of Indian nationality and one of Turkish origin.

According to the report, seven crew members are still on board the tanker, listed as part of Navios Tankers Management’s fleet.

Nave Constellation is a 29 thousand GT oil/chemical tanker

The maritime security company did not disclose the source of the incident report, however, it has categorized the source of high confidence level.

Dryad added that the incident occurred 26 nm SE of the Egina terminal, stressing that ships conducting operations at the Egina, Usan and Serpentina terminals are operating at heightened risk in the medium to longer term.

FLOATING ARMOURIES: The ships full of guns for hire against pirates

The attack has been confirmed by the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, according to which, armed pirates attacked and boarded an oil tanker underway around 76 nm South of Bonny, Nigeria, on December 3.

“Nineteen crew were identified as missing. The vessel owners notified the Nigerian Navy and MRCC for assistance. Remaining crew sailed a tanker to a safe area,” the report reads.

This is the 6th maritime security incident and the fourth kidnapping incident to occur within 30nm of the South Eastern boundary of the Nigerian EEZ within 2019.

READ: Second kidnapping today off of Africa’s west coast

“This is further confirmation of a developing trend of incidents that are assessed to be perpetuated by a well resourced pirate action group, most likely operating from one or more mother-ship vessels.

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