Tanker crewmember abducted by pirates off Togo dies in captivity; three others released

Elka Aristotle (Photo: European Products Carriers)

A crewmember of a Greek-flagged crude oil tanker who had been abducted by pirates from his vessel in the waters off Togo early last month had died while still in captivity, shipowner European Navigation said in a statement on Friday, December 13.

Elka Aristotle, which is operated by European Navigation subsidiary European Products Carriers, was attacked by armed men off Lomé, Togo, on November 4. The perpetrators took four of the crew off the ship as they departed.

One of the crew, who has been identified as a Filipino national, later died while in the pirates’ custody. His next of kin have been informed about the loss, the company added.

The shipowners have stated that the Filipino crewmember’s demise was due to illness and not as a result of any action on the part of the perpetrators.

The three other abducted Elka Aristotle crewmembers, who have been identified as Filipino, Greek, and Georgian nationals, have been released by the pirates. All three later underwent medical examinations and debriefings by Togolese authorities before flying home to their respective countries to be reunited with their families.

An investigation has been launched into the abduction of the four crew and the Filipino sailor’s subsequent death.

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