Gunmen stormed a tanker ship off the coast of Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta, ransacking the vessel and kidnapping five Indian sailors. This came as the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta, codenamed Operation Pulo Shield raised the alarm over increasing involvement of foreigners in oil theft in the country.
The attack targeted the SP Brussels tanker as it sat about 40 miles (64 kilometers) off the coast of Niger Delta, Medallion Marine said in a statement. The gunmen, the statement said, stole personal belongings on board the ship in the attack and kidnapped the sailors. It said those remaining on board later sailed the vessel safely to a port in Lagos.
The attack on the tanker came the same day gunmen abducted four South Koreans and a Nigerian working for Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. in Bayelsa State.
Meanwhile, the JTF Commander, Maj.-Gen. Johnson Ochoga, who spoke in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, also called on the Nigerian Immigration Service to always monitor the activities of foreigners in the region. Operatives of the JTF, he said, had arrested 10 Indians and four Nigerians on board an oil vessel, MT ASHKAY, within Nigerian territorial waters.