A Marshall Islands-flagged chemical tanker, Duke, became the latest ship to be hit by pirates on Sunday with 20 out the 21 crew kidnapped. The incident took place while the V.Ships-managed vessel was underway from Luanda, nearing Lome in Togo, a part of West Africa where attacks have escalated in recent months.
“Owners and Managers of the MV Duke are working closely with the relevant local Authorities and Flag State to try to establish contact with the vessel and crew, their well-being and safety being the prime focus and concern at this time,” V.Ships stated yesterday.
20 Indian crew were abducted, leaving just one Nigerian cadet onboard the ship, which is owned by London-headquartered Union Maritime.
Meanwhile on Friday three of four crew kidnapped from the Greek aframax Elka Aristotle in November were released. The fourth crewmember held hostage, a Filipino national, reportedly died.