Pirates Kidnap Four Crew From Greek Boat Off Togo: Togo Navy

November 5, 2019 Updated: November 5, 2019

LOME, TogoPirates attacked a Greek oil tanker off the coast of Togo on Nov. 4 and fled after taking four crew members as hostages, the West African nation’s navy and Greek authorities said, two days after a similar attack in the waters of neighboring Benin.

Of the missing crew members, two are Filipinos, one is Greek, and one is Georgian, the navy said in a statement. One security guard was also shot and wounded in the attack, it stated.

“Monday, 4th of November 2019, around 0300, the tanker boat Elka Aristotle … was attacked around 18 kilometers (11 miles) from the port of Lome by armed individuals,” according to the statement.

The vessel’s manager, European Product Carriers Ltd., confirmed the early morning attack, without providing further details. Greece’s shipping ministry said it was “closely monitoring the issue.”

While piracy has decreased worldwide, West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea is a high-risk area for abductions and armed robbery, according to the International Maritime Bureau.

Armed guards were present on the Greek boat and tried to fight off the attackers, but one was wounded, the Togo navy stated. An investigation has been opened.

The attack follows the abduction by pirates of nine Filipino crew members from a Norwegian-flagged boat off the coast of Benin on Nov. 2.

By John Zodzi & Noel Tadegnon