NIGERIA // AMBIKA piracy kidnap 13NM South of Forcados – 02/01/2020
EVENT DESCRIPTION // On January 2nd, around midnight, in Agge area, Ramos River, some 13NM South of Forcados (Nigeria) the Nigerian-flagged hopper dredger AMBIKA (IMO:7931026) was attacked by armed men.
Upon approaching a gunfight started between the armed men and the onboard military armed personnel. The perpetrators overpowered the security team and managed to board the dredger.
As a result of the action, 3 out of the 8 crew members were kidnapped (2 Russians and 1 Indian) while 4 out of the 6 military personnel deployed onboard for security were killed.
2 vessels were sent in support of the AMBIKA. No further information available.
Update 08-01-2020: The three crew members kidnapped regained freedom unhurt following a rescue military operation performed by Nigerian Authorities on Tuesday January 7th in Ondo State. Some perpetrators were killed while one was apprehended during the rescue operation.
In addition, Praesidium International local sources have confirmed that a payment dispute was likely the triggering factor of this incident.
Update 22-04-2020: According to press sources, the AMBIKA crew managed to put the vessel aground before being kidnapped. In addition, it appears that the three kidnapped crew members managed to run away from the pirates and to contact Nigerian security forces to be rescued.