02 July 2020 2200 UTC
03:49.3N - 002:25.0E
153nm SW Cotonou
179.5 x 27.2 m
Reporting indicates that the general cargo vessel KOTA BUDI was boarded by heavily armed men resulting in the kidnap of 5 crew.
The kidnapped crew are believed to all be Chinese nationals.
This is the 7th incident in the waters off Benin within 2020. This latest kidnapping brings the total number of kidnapped personnel in maritime incidents off West Africa in 2020 to 78. Incidents of kidnapping are currently tracking at 26% higher in 2020 than in 2019.
The vessel can be seen to have been drifting at the time of incident at 153nm offshore. AIS indicates that the vessel has been in position for approximately a week having previously visited the Nigerian port of Warri.