RABAT, February 6. /TASS/. On board the Leon Dias oil tanker, which earlier was hijacked in the Gulf of Guinea, and which now is in Benin’s waters, remain 14 people, including one Russian citizen, Russia’s embassy in Benin told TASS on Saturday.
The Russian citizen is Roman Bildin. "His health is fine, no complaints," the embassy said, adding he refused to go ashore.
"Leon Dias is now 10km off the Cotonou port under guard and control of Benin’s Navy," the embassy said. "Radio or telephone communication with the tanker is not available."
Benin’s Navy report no pirates on board the tanker.
"The Russian embassy watches closely the situation and keeps permanent contact with Benin’s Navy," the Russian embassy told TASS.
On Thursday, the maritime security director of Denmark-based Risk Intelligence, Dirk Steffen, told The Associated Press that the crew members from Russia, Georgia and the Philippines were probably held by an armed group in Nigeria for ransom.
Russia’s embassy in Nigeria confirmed that the Greek-owned oil tanker Leon Dias had been hijacked in the Gulf of Guinea.