Crew kidnapped in Gulf of Guinea attack

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Ten crew members of the cargo vessel Milan were kidnapped in yet another piracy incident in the Gulf of Guinea this week.

According to Praesidium International the vessel was boarded 13 nautical miles north-west of Pennington, Nigeria, by an unknown number of pirates. Initial reports indicated several crew were kidnapped but this was later changed to a confirmed 10.

The Milan was underway from Koko to Douala when the incident occurred. Based on available information the incident may have happened during the late hours of 25 November as the vessel suddenly shifted course and dropped speed soon after 22h00 GMT. The vessel drifted for hours then picked up speed only to start drifting again shortly after Praesidium said.

“Several sources confirmed 10 crew members were kidnapped.

“It is worth mentioning the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) militant group recently declared their readiness to resume hostilities if the federal government did not meet a series of demands. Several days ago, an attack against Shell and ENI infrastructure was conducted damaging pipelines in Ikarama area of Bayelsa state.

“Additionally, as mentioned in our Risk Assessments, multiple interventions by the Italian Navy Frigate Martinengo well offshore could possibly push the PAGs (pirate action groups) to softer targets closer to the West African shoreline where international navies have less operational capability due to the legal framework and related implications of their presence,” the Praesidium statement said.