New Delhi: The Indian mission in Abuja is in touch with the Nigerian authorities after reports surfaced stating that 18 Indians on board a Hong Kong-flagged vessel was kidnapped by pirates near the western coast of the African country, government sources said on Thursday, according to an ANI report.

"Our Mission in Nigeria has taken up the matter related to the kidnapping of Indian crew members of the ship MT Nave Constellation off Bonny, Nigeria with Nigerian Government and security agencies," the sources added.

 18 Indians were on board a Hong Kong-flagged vessel that was hijacked by pirates while it was transiting through Nigeria according to a global agency tracking maritime developments in the region.

 According to ARX Maritime, the vessel was attacked by pirates on Tuesday at around 19:20 UTC. The pirates managed to board the vessel and kidnap 19 crew members before escaping. The 19 seafarers are comprised of 18 Indian nationals and one Turkish national.

The vessel is now said to be safe and under the escort of the Nigerian Navy. The whereabouts and details of crew members is yet to be ascertained.