Pirates Take Six Hostage on the Monjasa Reformer

Six members of a 16-person crew on a Liberia-flagged tanker were held hostage by pirates who boarded the ship in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea last week, according to the Danish shipper that owns the vessel.

Pirates reportedly boarded the Monjasa Reformer near Port Pointe-Noire, Congo, on March 25 and five days later, the French Navy that was patrolling the area, found the ship off the island of Sao Tomé and Principe north of where it the pirates boarded. “The pirates had abandoned the vessel and brought a part of the crew members with them,” a statement by company spokesman Thorstein Andreasen said. It did not say how they were taken.

After the pirates boarded the vessel, the crew sought refuge in a safe area on the ship called a citadel which is the anti-piracy emergency protocol. In spite of this, the pirates somehow managed to take some of the crew hostage. The nationalities of the crew members was not announced, nor were details given as to where they are being held or whether any were injured.

A statement made later said that the crew members who were not taken hostage “are all in good health and safely located in a secure environment and receiving proper attention following these dreadful events.” There was no damage reported to the ship or its cargo.

The Monjasa Reformer is used in West Africa as part of Monjasa’s global marine fuels operations and was carrying marine gas oil, very low sulphur fuel oil and high sulphur fuel oil products on board, according to the shipping company.