Gulf of Guinea pirates attack second ship in 48 hours

Gulf of Guinea pirates attacked a Greek oil tanker off the coast of Togo on Monday and fled after taking four crew members as hostages.

The attack happened 48 hours after pirates attacked a Norwegian ship off Benin Republic and abducted nine Filipino crew members.

Togo’s navy said two of the captured crew members are Filipinos, one is Greek and one is Georgian.

One security guard was also shot and wounded in the attack, Togo’s navy said.

“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,” the statement said.

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 said. An investigation has been opened.

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