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India

Pirates abduct 18 Indian sailors off Nigeria coast

Coast Guard Operational Demo at Sea for Families, Civil Dignitaries and Media personnel organised under the ae...Read More
MUMBAI: Nineteen crew members, including 18 Indians, on board a large crude carrier, were abducted by pirates, 66 nautical miles south of Bonny offshore terminal, Nigeria, late on Tuesday. Shortly before the abduction, a chief officer on the ship who was also taken hostage had called his wife in Mumbai.
The officer has not been identified due to security reasons. There was no information about their whereabouts and TOI could not independently confirm the fate of the crew till Wednesday. Two news sites reported that armed pirates attacked the Anglo-Eastern-managed Nave Constellation, while transiting through Nigeria, and captured the ship. At the time of the attack, the ship was not under any escort.
BBC reported in June that the region is the number one spot for piracy. One of the 26 crew members was Turkish. Reports said that seven seafarers remained on board. The chief officer’s father said that his son has been associated with Hong Kong-based Anglo-Eastern for around 15 years.
“He is of captain rank and works as a chief officer on the ship. Last night (Tuesday), he told his wife around 10.15pm that he was going for duty. On Wednesday morning, I was shocked to receive a call from the company,” his father said.
The attack took place around 80 nautical miles south of Bonny and reports stated that the pirates boarded the vessel and abducted the 19 sailors before fleeing. Some media outlets reported that the vessel was, at present, safe and under escort of the Nigerian navy. “He left home in May and was supposed to return in four months. Generally, he returns in four to five months. We have been waiting for him for some time now. He told us there was too much work and that he would return soon,” the chief officer’s father said.
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