Three crew members of a Malta-flagged tanker have been taken hostage while in the Gulf of Guinea, Romanian Free Trade Union of Navigators (SLN) informed, sending an ominous signal to the regional bunker market.
The seizure has made bunker market participants in the region nervous, a market source said.
The 40,500 dwt tanker Histria Ivory was attacked by pirates some 20 miles from the Port of Lomé, Togo, on March 3, 2019.
After activating the alarm, the majority of the 21 Romanian sailors on board the ship mustered in the citadel. However, pirates kidnapped three crew members and escaped.
No injuries to the remaining crew members were reported.
After the pirates left, the 2006-built vessel was escorted by local authorities into the safe anchorage of Lomé. The vessel sustained damages during the hijack and needed to be repaired.
“The case is now under the responsibility of the competent entities that will take the appropriate measures to ensure that sailors are released safely,” SLN said.
At the time of the incident, the medium range 1 (MR1) tanker was en route from Freetown to Monrovia. Histria Ivory continued its voyage to Monrovia where it is scheduled to arrive on March 6, the ship’s AIS data shows.
The vessel is owned by Romania-based company; Histria Shipmanagement, according to information provided by VesselsValue.