Armed pirates have kidnapped 6 foreigners from an oil service ship off the coast of Nigeria and have demanded a ransom of $1.26 million for their release as reported in theaustralian.com.au of dated 21st of February 2013.
Three of the kidnapped persons are from Ukraine while two are from India and one is a Russian as informed by the police of Bayelsa.
The vessel was an Armada Tuah operated by the Lagos based Century Group and was en-route from the oil-hub port of Port Harcourt to Abo where several other deep-sea oil firms including Shell have their operations.
The vessel had a crew of 15 and was attacked by gunmen 40 nautical miles off southern Bayelsa state.
It seems the three kidnapped Ukrainians have, since, been released as intimated by the embassy of Ukraine in Nigeria but have not disclosed any details.
It seems stealing crude oil is a major motive for pirates that operate in the Niger delta region and armed gangs are known to have blasted oil pipelines and siphoned off the crude which they sell in the black-market.
Diezani Alison-Madueke, the oil Minister of Nigeria has sought international assistance to curb criminality in the region – he has made the appeal in a conference in Abuja.
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