Nigerian Navy Explains Attack on Turkish Vessel and Abduction of Crew Members by Pirates
The attention of the Naval Headquarters has been drawn to media reports on the suspected pirate attack on MV PAKSOY 1.
After thorough investigation, the Naval Headquarters finds it imperative to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the incident. On 14 July 2019 at about 1643 hours, the Naval Headquarters received a report of a suspected pirate attack on MV PAKSOY 1 at about 124 nautical miles off the coast of Brass.
MV PAKSOY 1 is a Turkish flagged general cargo vessel that reportedly sailed from Cameroon and was heading to Abidjan when she came under attack on Saturday 13 July 2019 at position: Latitude 020 58’N Longitude 0040 40’E, about 124 nautical miles South West of Brass.
It is pertinent to note that according to International Maritime Bureau report, the incident occurred around 2250 hours on the 13 July 2019, but the NHQ Operations Room was alerted around 1643 hours on the 14 July 2019, which is about 18 hours after the incident occurred. In accordance with the NN operational procedures, the position of the vessel was plotted on the Nigerian Navy Maritime Domain Awareness system and the vessel was spotted at Latitude 030 53’ 14”N Longitude 0030 03’ 26”E which is about 152nm due South of Lagos Fair Way Buoy and about 21 nautical miles from the Nigerian/Republic of Benin International Maritime Boundary.
The Commander Task Group (CTG) of OP TSARE TEKU was informed of the incident. Regrettably, the CTG could not do much as the vessel was almost heading out of Nigerian waters. In view of the fact that the vessel would be out of Nigerian waters in about 2 hours with the speed of 11.4knots, the Naval Headquarters alerted HQ Multinational Maritime Coordination Centre (MMCC) Zone E Cotonou, Republic of Benin. On receipt of the information, the Commander MMCC informed other member countries in Zone E and also Zone F Headquarters as the vessel seemed to be headed westerly at the time.
The vessel was later intercepted around 0831 hours on 15 July 2019 by the Ghana Navy Ship EHWOR and escorted to Tema Port, Ghana. Preliminary reports from Ghana Navy and IMB conveyed that the suspected pirates abducted 10 crew members of MV PAKSOY 1. The report further stated that the 7 crew members left onboard by the attackers sailed the vessel to Tema Port, Ghana.
The NN is already interfacing with Ghana Navy to obtain further details on the circumstances surrounding the pirate attack on MV PAKSOY 1. Nevertheless, considering that 10 crew members of the ship were reportedly abducted all naval units and other security agencies operating within the creeks and back waters of the Niger Delta have been tasked to ensure safe rescue and return of these crew men. Investigations are also ongoing towards getting a lead to burst the hide out of these criminals and rescue the abducted persons.