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Phillipino Sailor Abducted In Pirate Attack In Equatorial Guinea

A sailor of Philippine nationality was on Saturday, October 17, 2020, morning (4.30 a.m.) abducted by pirates who attacked the ship he was working for in the port of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

According to official sources in Malabo, the Equatorial Guinean capital, the ship, “Methane Princess”,  was working for the Equatorial Guinea Liquefied Natural Gaz (EG LNG) company and had been plying the route linking Malabo to the Marshall Islands. The ship measured 277m long and 43.40m wide with a freeboard of nine metres.

The attack took place 20km  on wide waters off Malabo port and Punta Europa, the principal zone of the petrol and gas terminals of Equatorial Guinea.

The pirates succeeded in abducting a Philippino sailor, who was a member of the ship’s staff and an Equatorial Guinean employee who eventually succeeded in escaping from the kidnappers, revealed a government spokesperson. An Equatorial Guinean was lightly wounded in the attack.

The Equatorial Guinea Liquefied Natural Gaz (EG LNG) company is an affiliate of the American company, Marathon Oil Corporation, which holds majority shares in EG LNG. It has been exploiting the Punta Europa liquefied natural gaz terminal which LGN it exports.

The attack comes 13 days after then release in Nigeria of five sailors, three Russians, one Ukrainian and one Equatorial Guinean, who were abducted five months earlier (May 9, 2020) on board two ships that were berthed in Malabo port.

The Gulf of Guinea which extends through the coast from Senegal to Angola, passing through Nigeria, covering a distance of 5,700km, has become the epicentre of piracy in the world, replacing the Gulf of Aden as the most dangerous waterway in recent years.

Pirates roam the gulf waters in rapid boats, seizing commercial ships, sailors and goods for which they demand ransoms before release.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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