15 crew members of a tanker chartered by the Dutch oil company De Poli Tankers have been kidnapped off the coast of Benin, in West Africa. Barendrecht reported Friday that these are people on board from Ukraine, Romania and the Philippines.
Poli Tankers did not disclose when the Malta-flagged ship was raided. Six crew members were able to remain on the Davide B and they are fine.
The fifteen kidnapped crew members are being searched. It is feared that they will be taken to the West African coast and held until the ransom is paid.
The tanker was raided about 390 km south of Cotonou, the largest city in Benin. More and more raids or kidnappings are taking place in the Gulf of Guinea, where Benin is located. The head of the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO), Kitak Lim, said last month that this calls for a better approach and more international cooperation.
In January of this year, 15 crew members of a Turkish container ship have already been kidnapped. A person was killed in that kidnapping, and the kidnapped were not released until a ransom was paid three weeks later. They said they were held in a forest and received repeated death threats. It is not known if there have been any arrests.
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