Kidnapped Product Tanker Crewmembers Still in Captivity
The six seafarers who were kidnapped at the Bonny Outer Anchorage last month are still missing. Five were Indian nationals, and their families are calling upon the Indian government to intervene.
At 1330 hours in the afternoon of April 19, Nigerian pirates boarded the product tanker Apecus while she lay at anchor just off the coast of Bonny Island, a well-defended oil and gas complex in the Niger River Delta. In broad daylight, the attackers abducted six seafarers and departed. The remaining crewmembers were unharmed, and they navigated their vessel to the Bonny Inner Anchorage.
Relative to areas further offshore, the Bonny anchorage has a more established security presence. The Nigerian Navy maintains a forward operating base on Bonny Island to defend the Bonny Oil Terminal, and the service's Regional Maritime Awareness Center is located near the Bonny Island approach channel.
The victims, all Indian nationals, have been missing for nearly two weeks. India's embassy in Nigeria says that it is working closely with the Nigerian Navy and police forces to recover the seafarers.
"Concerned parties have made initial contact. Caution is of utmost importance for everyone's safety," said the High Commission of India in Abuja.
According to the Times of India, the seafarers' families have not yet been able to speak to the abductees and have not received updates on their condition.