The Greek Merchant Marine Minister announced on Wednesday, January 22, that eight sailors who were kidnapped from the Port of Limbe on December 31, 2019, have been released. Gunmen abducted the captain and seven crew members, five of whom were Greek nationals, from an oil tanker while it was anchored approximately 3 km (2 mi) off the coast. According to officials, the Greek victims are in good health and were released following negotiations. Further information regarding the kidnappers was not immediately reported as of Wednesday.
Additional incidents of piracy and kidnapping are possible in the Gulf of Guinea in the near-term.
There is a high risk of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. According to the 2019 annual report released by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), over 90 percent of hostage-takings took place in the Gulf of Guinea.
Maritime travel through the Gulf of Guinea is advised against due to the threat of piracy.