Pirates Attack Tanker Offshore Benin, Kidnap 10 Crew    

A Liberia-flag tanker; Alpine Penelope has been attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea. Security sources said early Thursday that the officer on watch had identified two armed men on board and an alert was sent. After this, communications were lost.

According to Dryad Global report, the Alpine Penelope was 76 nautical miles (140 km) southwest of Cotonou. The tanker was known to have 24 personnel on board, with a mix of Georgian, Filipino and Ukrainian nationalities.

The fully loaded tanker, which is owned and managed by Greece’s Oceangold Tankers was enroute from Netherlands to Lagos 

As in the case with MAERSK TEMA container ship, no navy or security ships or boats were seen in the vicinity while the attack lasted.

The number of incidents reported in the waters off Cotonou have reached seven since January 19, with five of those involving boarding and two kidnappings. The Atlantic Discoverer container ship was boarded in January only 11 nautical miles (20 km) east of the Alpine Penelope attack.

During 2019, the waters offshore Benin and Togo became more dangerous, in both volume and severity, Dryad said, calling for all vessels transiting the area to conduct risk assessments and implement mitigation measures.