20 Crew Members Kidnapped From Tanker 110 NM S of Cotonou, Benin
UPDATE January 20: 19 of the kidnapped crew have been released and are reportedly in good health. One died in captivity, possibly due to illness.
December 15: According to multiple reports the Marshall Islands-flagged Oil/Chemical Tanker MT DUKE (IMO #9262259) was boarded by six unauthorized persons whilst underway from Luanda, Angola to Lome, Togo (approx. position 04°23’N, 002°02.3’E) at approx. 08:00 UTC.
20 of the 21 crew have been confirmed kidnapped. All of those kidnapped are of Indian nationality, while the sole crew member not kidnapped is believed to be of Nigerian nationality.
This is the largest single kidnapping in West Africa in 2019, after the kidnapping of 19 Indian nationals from the NAVE CONSTELLATION on December 04. These two incidents bring the total number of Indian nationals kidnapped in the region up to 89; the highest number of kidnapped persons in the region from any nation in 2019.
Sources: MDAT-GoG, Dryad Global, TradeWind, & Anonymous