Hijacked chemical carrier freed

Feb 05 2016

The Greek chemical tanker, said to be hijacked by Biafran separatists off Nigeria last weekend, has been freed.

It was reported that threats had been made that the 2003-built 9,055 dwt ‘Leon Dias’ and its crew would be blown up if the government did not release a Biafran leader, Nnamdi Kanu, from jail. However, the Nigerian Government claimed that there were no Biafran activists left and that the tanker was not in Nigerian waters when attacked 

Five seafarers on board were reported as kidnapped and taken hostage, and also that the Chief Officer was seriously wounded during the attack.

Although exact details were still vague, the vessel was said to have been hijacked in the Gulf of Guinea while sailing from Lome to Bata and taken towards Cotonou in Benin. AIS tracking data shows the vessel off Cotonou.

The Benin navy was subsequently thought to have taken control of the chemical tanker, which is owned Athens-based Peregrine Shipping and managed by Leon Shipping & Trading, according to Equasis. 

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