The abduction of 20 crew members of Marshal Island flagged vessel- Duke by pirates on December 15, was actually carried out off Cotonou waters and not off Togo as widely reported.
The abduction which is being described as “the largest kidnapping event in West Africa within 2019”. The newest incident comes less than two weeks after nineteen crew members were kidnapped from the tanker Nave Constellation off Bonny Island, Nigeria.
However, World Maritime News reports that a Togolese naval patrol boat has made contact with the vessel, the ship manager of V.Ships (India) confirmed.
As informed, a further tug with new sea-staff, including a Master, is proceeding to the 19,100 DWT Duke with a naval escort. They will resume command of the 2003-built ship which is owned by UK’s Union Maritime.
“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,” V. Ships said in a statement.
The report added that families of those kidnapped are being informed of the situation by the company.