Pirates have kidnapped 19 people from a Greek oil tanker in the Gulf of Guinea, in the third such case to happen in the region in just over a month.
Of those who were kidnapped, 18 are said to be Indian nationals while one is Turkish. A further seven crew members stayed on board the vessel following the incident.
According to Nigerian Navy commander Captain Kolawole Oguntunga, the ship was attacked shortly after it left the terminal.
It had been loaded with Shell Bonny Light oil, and was believed to be destined for Vizag, southern India.
Meanwhile, the Greek operator of the vessel, Navios Tankers Management, said it had informed the crew’s families and was doing “everything necessary” to bring the missing home.
Tuesday’s incident is the third such incident to happen in the Gulf of Guinea in just over a month.
At the beginning of November, 13 people were kidnapped from two European-flagged ships in the space of three days, shining a spotlight on piracy in the region.
The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) told Euronews at the time the Gulf of Guinea was “the kidnap capital of the world right now” as it was considered a “high-risk area for piracy and armed robbery”.
In a further statement, the IMB said the gulf region made up 86% of hostage-taking of crew members and 82% of crew kidnappings.