13 crew kidnapped from tanker off Benin

The 2007-built 11,300 dwt chemical tanker Curacao Trader was attacked by pirates off the coast of Benin in West Africa on July 17.

According to the ship’s manager Alison Management, 13 out of 19 Ukrainian and Russian crewmembers onboard the vessel have been taken hostage by the pirates. The ship was adrift with limited manpower following the attack. Nearby vessel Frio Chikuma sailed to the ship in an attempt to provide assistance.

“Alison Mangement wishes to advise that its prime concern remains the safety and recovery of its abducted crews and no effort shall be spared to achieve their soonest possible release,” the company said in a release.

Ship registration information shows the vessel is owned by UK owner Lomar Shipping.

Last week, ICC International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) released its latest piracy report saying The Gulf of Guinea off West Africa is increasingly dangerous for commercial shipping, accounting for just over 90% of maritime kidnappings worldwide.

So far this year, 49 crew have been kidnapped for ransom in the Gulf of Guinea and the rates are accelerating, with 32 crew kidnapped in the past three months alone.

Jason Jiang

Jason is one of the most prolific writers on the diverse China shipping & logistics industry and his access to the major maritime players with business in China has proved an invaluable source of exclusives. Having been working at Asia Shipping Media since inception, Jason is the chief correspondent of Splash and associate editor of Maritime CEO magazine. Previously he had written for a host of titles including Supply Chain Asia, Cargo Facts and Air Cargo Week.


  1. Alison Management seems to avoid all kinds of institutional controls. What kind of institutional guarantee can they offer to crew in Liberia??

  2. Liberia will never investigate something happened far away from their own coasts. Regarding crew, Lomar washes his hands…

  3. does the wheel house not have radar for collision avoidance?
    and if so, do they not see another boat coming their way?
    if they can see the boat coming, it seems to me that a couple of crew members would have no problem creating some chum for the sharks.

    1. I think you should stick to bending tin.

      All the Radars on Earth will not be able to prevent a speed boat travelling at 20 knots from keeping up with a vessel with low freeboard traveling at 11 knots.

      It may sound easy to put weapons in the hands of crew member but most states as well as international legislation prevents commercial crew from handling weapons. Companies have the option to hire armed security at great expense and additional paperwork for crew onboard.

  4. The quickest solution is for Lomar to pay. Another slower option is Russia’s public opinion. If there is social alarm, if the prestige of the government is at stake, the Kremlin will start the entire diplomatic machinery and perhaps then the crew will be released, although not very soon.

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