Pirates abduct 2 Filipino crew, 2 others from oil tanker off Togo

Published November 5, 2019, 8:56 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By MB Online

Pirates abducted four crew members of a Greek oil tanker, two of them Filipinos, in an attack off the coast of Togo on Monday, the West African nation’s navy and Greek authorities said.

In a statement, the navy said “armed individuals” launched the overnight attack when the boat was some 10 nautical miles off the coast of the capital Lome.

Armed guards were present on the Greek boat and tried to fight off the attackers, but one was wounded, the Togo navy said.

“A member of the armed guard was shot and wounded and the criminals managed to escape, taking four hostages among the crew members: two Filipinos, a Greek and a Georgian,” they said.

The attack came just days after the abduction by pirates of nine Filipino crew members from a Norwegian-flagged boat off the coast of Benin on Saturday.

The navy did not reveal the extent of the armed security on board the ship.

The vessel’s manager, European Product Carriers Ltd, confirmed the early morning attack, without providing further details. Greece’s shipping ministry said it was “closely monitoring the issue.”

Monday’s attack came two days after nine crew members were abducted from a Norwegian-flagged ship that was anchored off the coast of neighboring Benin.

The J.J. Ugland Companies said Monday that pirates had boarded the bulk vessel MV Bonita early Saturday while the ship was anchored near Cotonou.

Local authorities said they were investigating whether the hostages were taken to nearby Nigeria. (With Reuters and Agence France-Presse, and Associated Press)