Pirates Kidnap Six Crew from Tanker Off Bonny, Nigeria

tanker attacked nigeria
Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Dennis Mortimer

Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea have struck again.

The International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre confirmed Wednesday that six crew members were kidnapped from an anchored tanker off the coast of Bonny Island, Nigeria last week.

The incident occurred April 19 at around 1430 local time as the ship was anchored at the Bonner Outer Anchorage. The report said the tanker was boarded by unauthorized persons who kidnapped six crew and escaped. The remaining crew were reported safe.

Click to view IMB report

The Nigerian navy was notified and investigations into the incident are ongoing, the IMB said. 

The maritime consulting group gray Page identified the tanker as the 3,075 dwt APECUS, which is registered in Palau. The alert said the attack was the second attack on shipping off Bonny Island in less than a week, after a product tanker was fired upon on April 15.

Last Friday’s kidnapping is the latest to underscore the threat against ships and crews in the region. According to the IMB’s latest piracy report, there were 22 piracy incidents reported in the first quarter of 2019 in the Gulf of Guinea, and the region also accounted for all of the worldwide crew kidnappings with 21 crew members kidnapped across five separate incidents.

Nigeria, in particular, has been a hotspot for piracy. In the first quarter of 2019, Nigeria experienced a reported 14 incidents of piracy for Q1 2019, although down from the 22 incidents in Q1 2018.