26 MAR 2020
Seven Ukrainian seafarers were kidnapped from the container ship MSC Talia F on Sunday.
The 957-TEU vessel was en-route from Lomé, Togo, to Port Libreville, Gabon, and is now at anchor in Gabon. The remaining 10 crewmembers are believed to have taken refuge in the vessel’s citadel.
Dryad Global says it is the first incident in the area in 2020. There were four recorded incidents at Port Libreville and the Owendo Anchorage last year, one resulting in the kidnapping of four Chinese fishermen and another resulting in the kidnapping of the crew of a vessel transiting from Douala to Port Libreville.
Earlier in March, an incident occurred off Togo. Dryad Global cites a report indicating that the STI Bosphorous was approached by a skiff with around 10 people on board. The tanker undertook evasive maneuvers, increased speed and activated the fire hoses.
Nearby, in the waters south of Cotonou, Benin, nine crewmembers were kidnapped from the Alpine Penelope on February 20.
Despite overall piracy incidents declining in 2019, there was an alarming increase in crew kidnappings across the Gulf of Guinea, according to the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) annual piracy report.