Eighteen Indians, kidnapped by pirates from a commercial vessel near the Nigerian coast on December 3, have been released, the Indian mission in Nigeria said on Sunday. The Indian nationals were kidnapped from a Hong Kong-flagged vessel off the Bonny island after a group of pirates took control of it. "NiigerianNavy @NigerianNavy and Shipping Company have confirmed release of 18 Indian nationals, taken hostage from MT Nave Constallation on 3 December. Thank all stake holders involved in their safe release," the Indian mission in Nigeria tweeted.
The mission had taken up with the Nigerian government the kidnapping of the Indian crew of the vessel. According to ARX Maritime, a global agency tracking maritime developments in the region, 19 people, including 18 Indians, were kidnapped from the ship on December 3 after it was taken over by the pirates.