Security consultancy firm Dryad Global confirms that pirates abducted nine crewmen from an oil tanker in the Gulf of Guinea off Benin on Thursday, February 20.
The Liberian-flagged Alpine Penelope, owned by Athens-based Oceangold Tankers, was en route to Lagos, Nigeria, when a watch officer reported seeing a small skiff with two armed men manoeuvre alongside the ship while it was some 140 kilometres off the city of Cotonou in south Benin at around 01:10 UTC on Thursday.
The crew were then able to send out an alert. However, all communications with the ship were reportedly lost shortly afterward.
It was later discovered that the perpetrators took nine of Alpine Penelope‘s 24 crew as they departed.
The tanker’s crew at the time of the incident were a mix of Georgian, Ukrainian, and Filipino nationals, though authorities have not yet disclosed the nationalities of the kidnapped sailors.
Dryad says this is the second crew kidnapping and the seventh piracy incident overall to occur in the last 30 days in the waters off Cotonou.
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