A crude oil tanker has been hijacked off the Nigerian coast by Pirates, taking three hostages while the vessel’s Greek deputy commander was killed – Greek coastguard said on Wednesday.
The recurrence incident took place while the 15-year-old tanker, Malta-flagged Kalamos was anchored and awaiting fresh cargo from an oil terminal in Nigeria’s southeastern region operated by ExxonMobil at Qua Iboe when it was boarded.
Two of the three hostages are Greek, and Greeks make up 10 out of the total 23 crew, a spokeswoman for the coastguard told AFP.
The hijacking of the 15-year-old tanker took place in the Gulf of Guinea, which experts have said is the new epicentre of piracy in Africa.
Between January and September last year the area recorded 33 incidents of piracy and armed robbery, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
It said the pirates operating off the coast of Nigeria, Togo and Benin are heavily armed and violent, and often hold crews hostage for several days.