Suspected Nigerian pirates seize 4 foreign crew
• British envoy laments Niger Delta piracy
Four crewmembers, including two Ukrainians, a Russian and another man from Kiribati, have been kidnapped from a German container ship by suspected Nigerian gunmen.
The raid took place on the 1,740 twenty equivalent units (TEUs) Hansa Marburg (built 2007) late on Monday night, 130 miles south-west of Malabo in Equatorial Guinea.
Pirates reportedly boarded the vessel and seized the four men.
None of the other 14 men left on board were harmed and the Vessel’s owner, L&B, is said to be in the process of contacting the families of those involved.
The German owner is also in touch with local and German authorities.
No contact has been received from the kidnappers.
The vessel has proceeded to Senegal.
The attack took place close to where Euronav’s 159,000-dead weight suezmax Cap Theodora (built 2008) was attacked earlier this month.
Meanwhile, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocock, has voiced concern over increasing insecurity in the Niger Delta area.
Urging action to combat this, Pocock, who spoke at the West African Maritime Security and Development Conference in Lagos, said that Britain would continue to support security agencies with equipment and training for effective performance.
Even as he lamented the scourge of criminalityon the land and at sea within the West African coast, the envoy posited that the effective performance of the Nigerian Navy personnel in peacekeeping operations in the region meant that the countries did not need new security institutions to address such problems.
According to him, all existing institutions, both national and regional, need to work together to effectively police the area. Also speaking at the conference, the Chief of Nigerian Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Dele Ezeoba, explained 40 vessels had been impounded by the Nigerian Navy in the past eight months over alleged illegal activities in the nation’s waters.
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