Tanker LEON DIAS attacked, 5 crew abducted, 1 wounded. But what about hijacked tanker?
Situation with probable tanker hijack in Gulf of Guinea remains unclear. There was an attack late at night Jan 29, in position 02 30N 005 35E, but was it piracy attack, or the hijack claimed by militants, is yet unclear.
According to Lloyd’s List information, there almost no doubt, that product tanker LEON DIAS was a victim of pirates, not militants, attack:
A source at Secure Anchorage Area, a joint project between the Nigerian navy and British-owned security companies Ocean Marine Solutions and PGS Group, has issued a high confidence level piracy report that Leon Dias was attacked at around 0010 hrs local time on Sunday. Five crew are being held hostage, and the chief officer was seriously injured.
Tanker’s track led to believe that there was an accident, because vessel bound for Bata, Equatorial Guinea, turned back and sailed to Cotonou, Benin. It means, that LEON DIAS was attacked by pirates, 5 crew were taken hostages, and chief officer was wounded during the attack.
There is confirmed information, though, that the vessel was hijacked in about the same area where LEON DIAS was attacked, but the time differs, vessel was hijacked on Friday Jan 29, while LEON DIAS was attacked on Jan 31.
Again, there is the question of vessel’s type. If militants hijack claim is not a hoax, they hijacked a crude oil tanker, it can hardly be LEON DIAS, a small product tanker. It should be anything in a range from MT-LT to VLCC, but not 9,000-ton tanker.
Tanker hijacked in Nigerian waters by terrorists, threatening blow up vessel and crew
Posted on January 31, 2016
News in Nigerian media were published in the afternoon Jan 31, according to which a foreign vessel was hijacked in Nigerian waters on Jan 29 by a group of terrorists who’re threatening to blow up vessel with all crew, if group’s demand won’t be met by Nigerian authorities:
A group of ex-militants in support of the agitation by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has claimed responsibility for the hijack of a ship on Friday ( Jan 29 ?) along the Bakassi Pennisula Nigeria coastal line.
The group, which recently gave the Federal Government a 31-day ultimatum to release Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader and Director of Radio Biafra, said the concerned Niger Delta agitators were abreast with the incarceration of Kanu.
Spokesperson of the group, who gave his name as General Ben, threatened that they would blow up the vessel with the expatriates onboard, if the government continues to dilly-dally over Kanu’s release.
Speaking in Port Harcourt yesterday, the group’s spokesperson declared that they would not wait till the end of the ultimatum, before showing their seriousness.
Ben stated: “We cannot wait till the end of the 31 days to tell the Federal Government that we are serious. The vessel and the crew are under custody.
And any noise, any delay from government, we will blow up everything. We will blow the vessel and everybody in the vessel will go down. “We are not interested in the country that owns the vessel. What we know is that the vessel was coming to Nigeria to lift oil. We are not interested;; once it is blown up, let the country and Nigeria resolve the matter.
Tony John, Port Harcourt
No vessel’s details revealed, but judging from terrorists statement, it’s a crude oil tanker, of consequently, big proportions, LT or aframax or suezmax, or maybe even VLCC, with at least 15-20 crew on board.
Anyone knowing any details, first of all vessel’s name, number and nationalities of the crew, please share the information: email@example.com