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Kidnapped Kalamos 3 crew released

Feb. 26, 2015 at 03:39 by Mikhail Voytenko in Maritime Security

Greece's foreign ministry said on Feb 25, that 3 crew of a supertanker Kalamos, kidnapped by Nigerian pirates, were released. All three are now safe and undergoing medical tests, the ministry said, declining to provide further information on their release. Rumors say a $400,000 ransom was paid, but with no official confirmation, or comment.
Previous news:
Supertanker Kalamos attacked by pirates, 3 taken hostages, 1 killed, Nigeria
February 4, 2015
Supertanker Kalamos was attacked by Nigerian pirates in the evening Feb 3 on Bight of Bonny road, some 60 nm east of Bonny, Nigeria. Greece Coast Guard reported, that armed pirates boarded the tanker and took three hostages, including two Greeks, and left the vessel. A Greek deputy captain or a Chief Mate was killed during attack. The crew is 23, including 10 Greeks, vessel is in ballast awaiting loading on Qua Iboe oil terminal. Tanker arrived to Nigeria from China on Jan 31, according to AIS.
Comment
The question is, how the pirates managed to board supertanker in ballast, with a freeboard being 20 or 26 meters high. Did they climb using ropes with hooks or something more sophisticated, or was the ladder lowered by negligence or mistake? Did they pretend to be authorities and duped the watch into lowering the ladder? Did they rob the crew and took all valuables, crew’s and vessel’s? How long did it take? Did the watch manage to raise alarm by activating ISPS system or radioed WHF message, maybe? How long did it take for authorities, police or Navy, to react and come on board? Those are very important questions for all other vessels in the area, and vessels heading for Nigerian waters. The questions will stay unanswered, unless media find something out.
The presence on board of two armed military personnel of NIMASA is very interesting, too. GGR said that the vessel was detained due to some non-payment issues, hence the armed personnel on board, to keep vessel under detention. Well, can’t it be so then, that the whole incident was orchestrated by those parties or party in Nigeria, who’re trying to get the payment? It’s a very likely event, at least it may happen (and happens every now and then) in Russia, which in many ways is a Nigeria twin.
Voytenko Mikhail
Feb 5

Kidnapped Kalamos 3 crew released

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