FILE PHOTO: A Greek oil tanker Elka Aristotle is seen in Pireas, Greece April four, 2018 on this image obtained from social media. Giwrgos Mertis/through REUTERS
LOME (Reuters) – Pirates attacked a Greek oil tanker off the coast of Togo on Monday and fled after taking 4 crew members as hostages, the West African nation’s navy and Greek authorities stated, two days after the same assault within the waters of neighboring Benin.
Of the lacking crew members, two are Filipinos, one is Greek and one is Georgian, the navy stated in a press release. One safety guard was additionally shot and wounded within the assault, it stated.
“Monday, 4th of November 2019, round 0300, the tanker boat Elka Aristotle […] was attacked round 18 kilometers (11 miles) from the port of Lome by armed people,” the assertion stated.
The vessel’s supervisor, European Product Carriers Ltd, confirmed the early morning assault, with out offering additional particulars. Greece’s delivery ministry stated it was “carefully monitoring the problem”.
Whereas piracy has decreased worldwide, West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea is a high-risk space for abductions and armed theft, in keeping with the Worldwide Maritime Bureau.
Armed guards have been current on the Greek boat and tried to struggle off the attackers, however one was wounded, the Togo navy stated. An investigation has been opened.
The assault follows the kidnapping by pirates of 9 Filipino crew members from a Norwegian-flagged boat off the coast of Benin on Saturday.
Reporting by John Zodzi and Noel Tadegnon, writing by Anna Pujol-Mazzini and Renee Maltezou, modifying by Gareth Jones