IMB Reports The Release Of Kidnapped Crew Members
Pirates who kidnapped four crew members of a chemical tanker on 5th March 2016 has now freed them, reports International Maritime Bureau and Hellenic Coast Guard.
The reports state that – on 5th March 2016, a group of ten armed pirates in a speed boat approached and opened fire at a chemical tanker underway approximately 32 nautical miles southwest of Bonny Island, Nigeria. They boarded the vessel using a grappling hook and ladder. An hour later, they left the vessel taking four crew members as hostages.
On Wednesday, the Hellenic Coast Guard reported that the four hostages, three from Greece and one from the Philippines, were released on 28th March 2016. All of them were reported to be in good health. It is uncertain whether ransom was paid, if paid the amount of ransom is not known.
Nigeria continues to be a hotspot for violent acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, where gangs of armed pirates board vessels with the intention of kidnapping crew for ransom or stealing fuel oil cargo. The International Maritime Bureau received reports of 14 piracy incidents with nine boardings in 2015, although the actual numbers are believed to be higher as many go unreported.