Nigerian pirates attacked the inland motor tanker Vajara in Ramos River at the restive Niger Delta. The group of armed pirates attacked the vessel from motor boat, but crew succeeded to raise the alarm and reported about the accident to the Nigerian navy. The seamen succeeded to escape and locked in the engine room. The Nigerian troops arrived at the scene of distress signal and opened fire against the pirates. During the crossfire, were killed all the seven suspected pirates and militants, without hurting any from the hostages. The crew of the inland motor tanker Vajara was released and after short investigation, the vessel was released to return in service.
“Troops of Operation Base 2 repelled a hijack of a vessel (MT VAJARA) by heavily armed bandits in Ramos River, around Agge area of Delta state”, said the Lieutenant Commander Thomas Otuji. “The Nigerian military are taking measures to make the entire Niger Delta and the waterways safe for oil firms, vessels and their crew”, added he.
The region of Niger Delta became extremely dangerous and frequent of piracy attacks, after the President Muhammadu Buhari winded down the amnesty to former militants in the oil-rich region. This increased the ship hijackings and militant attacks on oil facilities, making the region one of the most dangerous from piracy in the world. The pirates, who are ex militants, are pretty well equipped and heavy armed. The militants claim to be seeking a larger share of the country’s oil wealth for residents of the region as well as political autonomy.
The inland motor tanker Vajara is operating under the flag of Germany. The vessel has overall length of 110.00 m, moulded beam of 12.00 m and maximum draft of 3.00 m.