A tanker ship was attacked by pirates off the coast of Benin in the Gulf of Guinea on Friday, February 2. The ship was carrying 22 Indian crewmembers and 13,500 tons of gasoline. As of Monday, February 5, the ship and its 22 crewmembers are still missing. No known communication has been established with the pirates, and their location, as well as the location and condition of the hostages, is currently unknown. A search is underway with the help of Nigerian and Beninese authorities.
On January 10, a company lost communication with its tanker anchored in Cotonou. After a six-day search, the tanker and crew were found safely in Lagos after the tanker owner reportedly negotiated with the hijackers.
There is a high risk of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. In the first quarter of 2017, 63 percent of the 27 kidnap-for-ransom cases worldwide took place in the Gulf of Guinea.
Maritime travel through the Gulf of Guinea is advised against due to the threat of piracy.