Pirates hijack supertanker off Nigeria, kidnap 19 crew members – reports

2019-12-05 17:25
Bonny Island is a key loading point for Nigerian crude oil.

Bonny Island is a key loading point for Nigerian crude oil.

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Pirates have kidnapped at least 19 crew members from a fully loaded supertanker off Nigeria, according to reports on Thursday.

Bloomberg reported the incident happened late on Tuesday about 142km from Bonny Island, a key loading point for Nigerian crude oil.

The vessel had only recently collected its cargo.

Eighteen of the kidnapped were Indian nationals, along with one Turk, Reuters quoted an official with the ship's operator as saying.  

Another seven crew members remained on board the vessel, the official said, adding that neither the vessel nor the cargo were damaged.

The shipping industry has warned in recent months about the increasing dangers faced by seafarers sailing through west Africa, particularly around Nigeria, with a greater focus on kidnappings by pirate gangs, said Reuters.

- Compiled by Betha Madhomu

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa  |  kidnappings
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