A group of eight pirates attacked the Malta-flagged tanker MT Puli and kidnapped the vessel’s crew members some 118 nautical miles off Port Harcourt, Nigeria, OPS Clearwater confirmed to World Maritime News after reports on the attack emerged in Turkish media.
The incident, which occurred at 01:30 hours this morning, saw at least six seamen abducted from their vessel while MT Puli was enroute from Douala port to Nigerian Abidjan port.
The pirates stole cash, ship’s properties, crew personal belongings and escaped with the kidnapped crew, ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) informs.
The pirates are reportedly seeking an undisclosed ransom amount for the kidnapped crew.
The remaining crew members aboard the tanker reached a safe port.
The 15,800 dwt tanker is owned by the Turkish shipping company Kaptanoglu.
From the beginning of April, the ICC IMB reported two unsuccessful hijacking attempts on tanker vessels off Brass, Nigeria.
In both attacks, a group of pirates armed with automatic weapons tried to board the vessels on April 1 and 7.
There were no injuries reported to the crew members in the attempted boardings.
“We are seeing a worrying increase in attacks in the region and also an increase in the amount of crew being taken,” OPS Clearwater said, adding that shipping companies are growing ever more frustrated with the lack of real coordinated or meaningful security in the area.
World Maritime News Staff