Athens            -         Pirates have kidnapped over a dozen Ukrainian and Russian crew members on a Greek-owned tanker off the coast of Benin in West Africa, the company said Monday.

The Gulf of Guinea, which includes the Nigerian coast, is among the world’s most dangerous waters as pirates regularly loot ships and kidnap sailors for ransom.

Alison Management Corp said the MV Curacao Trader “was attacked by pirates approximately 210 miles off the coast of Benin on 17th July”.

“Thirteen out of its 19 Ukrainian and Russian crew members have been taken hostage by the pirates. As a result the ship is currently drifting with limited manpower on board,” the Athens-based company said.

Alison Management said a refrigerated carrier owned by the company had been sent to assist the tanker, adding that “no effort shall be spared” to secure the crew’s release.