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Ransom reportedly paid to free three crew kidnapped from Greek VLCC off Nigeria

Ransom reportedly paid to free three crew kidnapped from Greek VLCC off Nigeria
Embiricos interests have reportedly paid $400,000 ransom to secure the release of three seafarers kidnapped from the Greek VLCC Kalamos off WestAfrica 3 February.

Though the group would not comment on the ransom, it is said to have been paid to a criminal gang in Nigeria.

Embiricos' Athens-based Aeolos Management-run 281,000 dwt tanker, flagged in Malta, was awaiting loading off Bonny with 23 crew when it came under
attack. The 2000-built vessel¹s chief officer was killed in the incident.

The two Greeks and one Pakistani now freed were taken to hospital after their ordeal ended. "Following this examination and depending upon medical advice they will be
flown home to be reunited with their families," the manager said. "Further support will be provided to the seafarers and their families when they return home and begin the recovery process from their traumatic experience."

Aeolos said it was greatly relieved the men were free, adding there was still great sadness over the chief officer who lost his life.

The incident was part of a disturbing new trend in the modus operandi of pirate cells operating in Nigeria. Since the beginning of 2015, there has been a high level of violence against targeted vessels, with three armed forces personnel and one police officer killed in separate incidents.