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Three crewmembers abducted from togo-flagged bunkering tanker

Three crewmembers abducted from togo-flagged bunkering tanker

Three crew members were kidnapped from a small tanker off the coast of Nigeria, the latest incident in the Gulf of Guinea in an unusually busy year for piracy.

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The Togo-flagged bunkering tanker Stelios K was on a voyage from Athens in the early hours of November 16 to Lagos.

According to security consultancy Praesidium International, she went dark at a place about 40 nautical miles south of Lagos and stopped reporting on AIS. Later news suggested that she had been boarded and taken over, and until at least November 19th, Dryad Global reported, she was still in the custody of the attackers.

The Stelios K has been located since then but the suspected pirates have abandoned the vessel and have not been arrested. Three crewmen were confirmed missing.

Local authorities have been informed, and according to Praesidium, a Nigerian Navy vessel is looking for the kidnappers.

Other safety consultancies have told maritime media that the apparent hijacking of the Stelios K could have resulted from a business dispute instead of a typical Nigerian kidnap-for-ransom scheme.

The Stelios K has been located since then but the suspected pirates have abandoned the vessel and have not been arrested. Three crewmen were confirmed missing.

Local authorities have been informed, and according to Praesidium, a Nigerian Navy vessel is looking for the kidnappers.

Other safety consultancies have told maritime media that the apparent hijacking of the Stelios K could have resulted from a business dispute instead of a typical Nigerian kidnap-for-ransom scheme.

According to a tally kept by Dryad Global, the attack marks the 23rd abduction in the Gulf of Guinea so far this year and takes the total number of abductees to 118.

Two abductions in the span of only three days last week are included in the total: the assault on the Stelios K and the abduction of 14 crew members from the Zhen Hua 7 heavy lift ship on 13 November.

Maritime Business World 

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