Niger Delta pirates abduct container ship crew, release 12 taken from Swiss vessel

Liberian-flagged container ship, the Pomerenia Sky

 

By Godspower Edoza 

Massoel Shipping, a Swiss shipping company has said that 12 crew members of a bulk carrier, MV Glarus who were abducted by pirates more than five weeks ago near Nigeria, have been released.

This is just as Poland’s Foreign Ministry on Monday said it was looking into the reported abduction of 11 crew members of a Liberian-flagged container ship, the Pomerenia Sky, off the Nigerian coast.

Privately owned Polish radio station, RMF FM, reported that eight Poles, two Filipinos and a Ukrainian were abducted Saturday, following a suspected pirate attack as the vessel was arriving from Angola.

The report said the ship was captured at four o’clock in the morning on October 27; 50 nautical miles off the coast of Nigeria.

The pirates floated on two motor boats and captured the ship. However, the crew of the ship had time to send a distress signal. According to preliminary reports, nobody from the crew was hurt during the seizure of the vessel.

A representative of the company owning the vessel said that steps were being taken to release the crew of the ship.  

On the release of the 12 crew members of the Swiss ship, the Swiss shipping company said seven Filipinos, a Slovenian, a Ukrainian, a Romanian, a Croatian and a Bosnian, were freed late Saturday in Port Harcourt and were in Switzerland on Monday before returning home.

Massoel said it would not provide details of the release “as to do so would only encourage further criminal acts of this kind”. 

The company said the ship carrying wheat was attacked Sept. 22 as it sailed from Lagos to Port Harcourt. 

The attackers apparently boarded using long ladders and cut razor wire on the deck to reach the bridge. Seven crew members were not captured.

A spokesman for Massoel, Blake Sinclair, said the crew members were “as well as can be expected, given the circumstances.” 

He said details of their detention were not immediately available.