Pirates kidnap 18 Indian sailors off the coast of Nigeria

MUMBAI: Nineteen crew members, including 18 Indians, aboard a large crude oil transporter, were kidnapped by pirates, 66 nautical miles south of Bonny's offshore terminal, Tuesday night. Shortly before the kidnapping, a ship's chief officer who was also taken hostage had called his wife in Mumbai.

The officer has not been identified for security reasons. There was no information about his whereabouts and TOI could not independently confirm the fate of the crew until Wednesday. Two news sites reported that armed pirates attacked the Ship Constellation managed by the eastern Anglos, while transiting Nigeria, and captured the ship. At the time of the attack, the ship was not under any escort.

reported in June that the region is the number one place for piracy. One of the 26 crew members was Turkish. Reports say that seven sailors remained on board. The chief officer's father said his son has been associated with Anglo-Eastern, based in Hong Kong, for about 15 years.

“He is a captain and works as a chief officer on the ship. Last night (Tuesday), he told his wife around 10.15 p.m. I was going to work. On Wednesday morning, I was surprised to receive a call from the company, ”said his father.

The attack took place about 80 nautical miles south of Bonny and reports indicated that the pirates boarded the ship and kidnapped the 19 sailors before fleeing. Some media reported that the ship was, at this time, safe and under the escort of. “He left home in May and was supposed to return in four months. In general, it returns in four or five months. We've been waiting for some time now. He told us there was too much work and that he would return soon, said the father of the chief officer.