The 15 crew members of a Dutch ship who were abducted earlier this month off the coast of West African Benin.
“Contact has been made with the crew of the tanker Davide B. All fifteen crew members are together and are well under difficult conditions,” says De Poli Tankers from Barendrecht in a statement. The news has also been conveyed to the crews family members.
The crew members come from the Philippines, Russia and two Baltic States. The company says “to do everything possible to release the crew,” without providing further information in order not to jeopardise the safety of the crew.
Six crew members were left on the ship. The ship is under escort to a safe haven.
Presumably ransom demanded
The oil tanker sailed under the flag of Malta, but is managed by the company De Poli Tankers from Barendrecht. The ship was on its way from the Latvian capital Riga to Lagos in Nigeria. The robbery was almost 40 miles off the coast of Benin. The kidnappers believed to have taken the crew members to one of the nearby countries to demand a ransom.
In the Gulf of Guinea, robberies or hijacking are increasingly taking place. Last September, pirates attacked another Gronings ship and kidnapped two crew members. In January, a dead man fell in an attack on a container ship, the other crew members were abducted and released after a few weeks.