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18 Indian crew men kidnapped in high seas off West Africa

New Delhi: West Africa is infamous for piracy and now the situation has worsened further with the kidnapping of 19 crewmen, nearly all Indians, on board a very large crude carrier (VLCC). The attack on the Anglo-Eastern-managed Nave Constellation took place 66 nautical miles south of Nigeria’s Bonny Offshore Terminal.

Eighteen out of the 19 crew members were Indian nationals and the remaining one was a Turkish. The vessel was laden and outbound from the Bonny Offshore Terminal, say reports. It was underway at approximately 13.3 knots. It was not under any kind of escort when the attack on it took place, making it more vulnerable.

The 2010-built tanker is owned by Navios Maritime Acquisition. according to VesselsValue.

A spokesperson for the owner and the manager of the tanker is quoted to have said: “Navios as Owners and Anglo Eastern as Technical and Crew Managers’s prime concern is the safety and early return of the 19 persons taken by the pirate gang. All the appropriate authorities, including the Flag State, have been alerted and are responding and all the necessary action is being taken to secure their wellbeing and early release.”

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