Indian sailors held captive by Nigerian pirates


Five Indian sailors remain captive after being kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Nigeria last month.

The sailors were abducted on 19 April when their vessel, the oil tanker Apecus, was boarded off Lagos, Nigeria.

The Hindustan Times on Tuesday reported that the owners of the vessel had established contact with the abductors and were negotiating for their release.

India’s External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said she had asked the Indian High Commissioner to take up the matter at the highest level with the Nigerian government.

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the Apecus was attacked at the Bonny Outer Anchorage. Aside from the five Indian sailors, the remaining crew escaped unharmed.

There have been multiple incidences of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea over the last month, with the most recent occurring on 5 May when Nigerian pirates hijacked the heavy lift vessel Blue Marlin. It was freed by Spanish and Equatorial Guinea naval personnel two days later and ten pirates apprehended. It appears the same group of pirates hijacked the Nigeria-flagged tug Charis on 5 May, which was also freed by Spanish and Guinean personnel.