Eight people were kidnapped and one was injured during an armed raid on a Greek-registered oil tanker that was anchored off the coast of Cameroon. Greek authorities confirmed the news on Tuesday, saying that the tanker was attacked by armed men and eight people from crew members were kidnapped by the pirates.
According to Greece's shipping ministry, the Greek flagship "Happy Lady" NP-12183 was anchored two nautical miles from the port of LIMBOH in Cameroon when it was attacked by armed men resulting in the abduction of eight crew members. The competent services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were informed as soon as the incident was reported to the Operations Center of Hellenic Coast Guard, also known as the Greek Coast Guard.
Minister of Maritime and Island Policy, Yiannis Plakiotakis, has instructed the competent Directorates of the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning to closely monitor the matter in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the managing company. Out of the eight people abducted during the armed raid, five of them are Greek, two people are Filipino and one is Ukrainian. One Greek national also lost his life during the raid.
The tanker had a crew of twenty eight members. However, the motive behind the armed raid is not known yet but the ministry has asked the police to investigate the matter thoroughly. The ship was visiting Cameroon to deliver oil from Greece before it was hijacked. The hijacking of ships and kidnapping crew members for ransom is quite common in the coastal regions of West Africa.
In November 2019, armed men raided another Greek ship named Elka Aristote and captured four crew members. The pirates released three of them on December 13, while one died in their captivity. The incident took place around 10 nautical miles off the Togolese capital Lome.