PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
20 Dec, 2012
The Nigerian Navy has sent a rescue ship to trace five Indians who were abducted by pirates from a German oil tanker off the coast of the country’s notorious Niger Delta region.
“The Western Naval Command (WNC)
under the leadership of the Flag Officer
Commanding (FOC), Rear Admiral Ameen
Ikioda was directed to send a rescue ship to the troubled vessel and ascertain if the ship was actually under arrest,” Navy spokesman Commodore Kabiru Aliyu told . He said the Navy will investigate the ship where it is at anchorage and if it is confirmed that the oil vessel was attacked, they will go after the pirates and rescue the kidnapped crew members.
Heavily armed pirates attacked and
looted an oil vessel off the coast of Niger
delta region on Monday, kidnapping five
Indian sailors on board, the ship’s
operators, Medallion Marine said
yesterday. “The vessel (SP Brussels) was boarded by heavily armed pirates whist
approximately 40 miles off the Niger
Delta. The pirates ransacked the vessel
for personal belongings and took five
crew members with them on their departure.” the operators said in an
initial statement and later clarified that
the five crew members were Indians. Medallion Marine said they are working
hand-in-hand with authorities here to get the abducted men released.
Piracy and oil theft is a regular phenomenon in Nigeria especially in the
delta region where oil is produced.Similar attacks are also witnessed off the southern commercial city of Lagos. On September 4, pirates hijacked a ship,
MT Abu Dhabi Star owned by a Singaporean firm off the shores of
Nigeria with its 23 Indian sailors on
board. They were later released.