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Pirates board an oil tanker in the Gulf of Guinea and kidnap 20 people

December 16, 2019


A group of pirates on Wednesday approached an oil tanker owned by Union Maritime Ltd while navigating the waters of the Gulf of Guinea, after which India has confirmed that 20 crew members have been kidnapped.

The company has indicated in a statement that the ship 'MT Duke' “was involved on Sunday in a security incident at around 7.00 (8.00 in Peninsular Spain).”

Pirates board an oil tanker in the Gulf of Guinea and kidnap 20 peoplePirates board an oil tanker in the Gulf of Guinea and kidnap 20 people

“The 'MT Duke' was attacked and approached when it was en route from Luanda, Angola, to Lomé, Togo, with a cargo of fuel,” he said, before adding that the company “works closely” with the authorities to “resolve the situation as soon as possible”.

“The safety and well-being of the crew remains the main priority of Union Maritime. Given the sensitive nature of the incident, we will not give more information at the moment,” he said.

For its part, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India has indicated that the 20 kidnapped crew members are citizens of the country, as reported by the Reuters news agency.

“Our mission in Abuja has transferred the matter to the Nigerian authorities, as well as to the authorities of neighboring countries,” he said in a statement.

A group of pirates released three crewmen who were kidnapped hostage since November in a Greek tanker in Togo last week, as confirmed by the company that operated the vessel, European Product Carriers Ltd, which said a fourth hostage died during The time of captivity.

The tanker 'Elka Aristotle' was attacked on November 4, 18 kilometers from the Lomé port, when the pirates managed to flee with two Filipino hostages, one Greek and one Georgian.

Piracy continues to decline worldwide, but the Gulf of Guinea remains a high-risk area where kidnappings and robberies occur.