A Hong-Kong vessel was hijacked by pirates near the coast of Nigeria. Eighteen Indians were reported to be aboard according to an international agency tracking maritime movements in the region.
India’s mission in Nigeria further asked the concerned authorities for details and confirmation on the kidnapping of the Indian citizens. The officials further announced that they have asked the Nigerian authorities to rescue the abducted Indians. ARX Maritime, the organisation tracking all maritime activities in the region, declared of its official website that the vessel was taken hostage by pirates in the late hours of December 3. There were 19 people on board out of which 18 are Indians and one is Turkish.
According to ARX Maritime, the vessel is safe and under the control of the Nigerian Navy. However, there is no information regarding the kidnapped crew members.
In another similar incident, nine crew members of a shipping vessel were abducted by a group of pirates off the coast of Benin in West Africa on November 2. The information was confirmed by JJ Ugland, a Norwegian shipping company and the owner of the vessel.
In a statement released by JJ Ugland on November 3, the details of the ship were disclosed to the international media. MV Bonita, the shipping vessel was waiting at the Cotonou port to release a shipment of gypsum when the pirates boarded and the crew members hostage. It was reported that the crew onboard tried contacting the local authorities. However, the shipping vessel was later found anchored at the port. The company’s spokesperson also said that the families of the crew members have been contacted and will be kept apprised on the situation. Further, the statement read that more updates will be given as and when any information is confirmed and deemed releasable to the media.