On Monday, December 16, Indian authorities reported that 20 Indian nationals had been kidnapped from an oil tanker in waters off the coast of West Africa (i.e. Gulf of Guinea) as the tanker was shipping oil from Angola to Lomé (Togo). India's foreign ministry has reportedly taken up the issue with Nigerian authorities.
Similar incidents of piracy are possible in the Gulf of Guinea over the near term.
The waters off of Nigeria's oil-rich coast have been a hotspot for piracy incidents over the past decade. Pirates often kidnap crew for ransom and sometimes siphon off the petroleum products.
Maritime travelers in the region are advised to remain vigilant for the approach of suspicious ships while aboard vessels, monitor developments to the regional security environment, and report all incidents to the nearest authorities. Pirates and other criminals are often armed; do not resist if confronted.
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