Pirates open talks with MSC over Russian sailors abducted off Cotonou 

MSC Mandy. PHOTO CREDIT: VesselFinder
MSC Mandy. PHOTO CREDIT: VesselFinder

Abductors of the six Russian sailors kidnapped off the coast of Cotonou, Benin Republic on January 2 have contacted the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), which owns the ship they were taken from. 

Chairman of the Russian Union of Sailors Yury Sukhorukov, who disclosed this on Wednesday, also said that the kidnapped seafarers are alive and held in acceptable conditions. 

“Representatives of a pirate group contacted the company that owns the ship. Negotiations have been launched. 

“The captain was allowed to speak to the ship owner. He confirmed that everything is more or less fine, that people are held in more or less acceptable conditions,” Sukhorukov said.

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Pirates attacked and captured the containership, MSC Mandy, sailing under Panama’s flag at night on January 2 in Benin’s territorial waters. 

24 crew members were onboard when the armed pirates struck and abducted six of them.

All of those captured are Russians. 

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