The 2003-built tanker Leon Dias was hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, UK-based Clearwater Vessel Tracking confirmed to World Maritime News.
“A tanker was underway from Lome to Bata when the owners lost contact with their vessel, it was later discovered that pirates had managed to board and hijack the vessel, a militant group are claiming they were responsible for the hijacking. Since those reports were released the pirates have disembarked, kidnapping five crew members,” Clearwater said.
According to the statement, the five crew member who were kidnapped are the Captain, chief engineer, third engineer, electrician, and a fitter.
“The tanker is now underway to Lagos reporting that one crew member has been shot with another crew member wounded but the seriousness of these two crew members injuries have not been released yet,” the agency added.
Reportedly, the group of ex-militants in support of the agitation by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has claimed responsibility for the hijacking, demanding the release of movement leader Nnamdi Kanu, the director of Radio Biafra and head of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
A spokesman of the group, known as General Ben, reportedly said that the group would take drastic action if their demands were not met swiftly, adding that they threatened to blow up the vessel and everybody on it.
The investigation into the incident continues.
The exact time of the hijacking remains unknown.
World Maritime News Staff