On December 15, the chemical product tanker MT DUKE was attacked by pirates, South East of Lomé Togo in the Gulf of Guinea, kidnapping all of the Indian crew.
The Marshal Island’s flag vessel managed by V.Ships Ship Management (India) Pvt Ltd., reported that contact was lost with the vessel between 0700 hrs-0800 hrs local time 15.12.19
The tanker was en route from Luanda to Lomé, Togo where she would discharge her cargo of fuel oil.
20 crew members, all Indian nationals, were kidnapped from the vessel, leaving one Nigerian cadet on-board.
In response to the kidnapping, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs in the Government of India, Raveesh Kumar said:
“We are concerned by the kidnapping of 20 Indian crew members (as reported by the Shipping agency) from the vessel MT Duke in the high seas off the western coast of Africa on 15th December 2019. This is the 3rd such incident this year in the region, affecting Indian nationals. Our Mission in Abuja has taken up the matter with the Nigerian authorities, as also with the authorities of the neighbouring countries. The safety of hostages is paramount and we continue to engage with Nigerian authorities and other stakeholders closely on the recent incidents.”
December 16, 2019
V.Ships Ship Management Statements issued a statement saying; “Owners and Managers are working closely with all the appropriate authorities and specialists to secure the safe and speedy release of the crew members being held, this being the utmost priority.
Families of those kidnapped are being informed of the situation.”