Greece’s Foreign Affairs ministry on Tuesday said it is monitoring closely the case of the November 4 abduction by gunmen of a Greek crew member of Greek-flagged tanker Elka Aristotle off the coast of Togo, a West African nation on the Gulf of Guinea.
The ministry is trying to facilitate actions that will lead to the safe return of the abducted Greek seafarer as soon as is feasible, it said in a statement.
Upon receiving first notification of the incident by the Greek Shipping Ministry, the Foreign Affairs ministry notified the Greek embassy in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, which then alerted Togo authorities to the issue.
Seeing as the other three abductees are Georgian and Philippino nationals, the Greek Foreign Ministry also alerted the Greek embassies at Tbilisi and Manila. The gunmen abducted the four men out of the tanker’s crew of 24.
The ministry’s crisis management team is also in constant communication with the shipowning company and the Greek seafarer's family.
Shortly after the incident occurred on November 4, Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis had ordered competent authorities to closely monitor developments, while shipowner European Product Carriers LTD released a statement confirming the piracy incident involving one of its tankers. [ANA-MPA]