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Pirates kidnap 20 seafarers from tanker off Togo

Pirates have struck far offshore West Africa for the second time this month taking 20 seafarers hostage the tanker Duke off Togo.

Six pirates are reported to have boarded the Marshall-Islands registered, 19,117 dwt chemical/product tanker, 115nm southeast of Lome, Togo on Sunday taking 20 Indian-national seafarers hostage, leaving just crew member behind, who is reported to be a Nigerian.

The tanker Duke is owned by Union Maritime and managed by V.Ships (India) according to the Equasis database. The vessel was sailing from Luanda, Angola to Lome in Togo when the attack took place.

Earlier this month on 3 December 19 seafarers were kidnapped from the VLCC Nave Constellation 100nm south of Bonny Island and 105nm of Bioko Island offshore Nigeria.

Dryad Global commented in an incident alert: “Current details regarding the specific methodology used are unclear, however, given the significant distance offshore, it is assessed that the pirate action group responsible are highly likely to be using a mothership vessel to aid operations deep offshore.

“This reflects a broader trend of increase in the number of serious maritime security incidents involving kidnap of personnel beyond the Nigerian EEZ.”


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