Pirates Kidnap 12 Crew Members From Swiss Vessel in Nigerian Waters

Photo from Ukrinform

Pirates kidnapped 12 crew members from a Swiss merchant vessel on Saturday in Nigerian waters, the ship’s operator said in a statement, Reuters reports.

Massoel Shipping, operator of MV Glarus, said the vessel carrying wheat was traveling between the southwestern commercial capital Lagos and southern Niger Delta oil hub Port Harcourt when it was boarded by pirates, who took 12 crew members from 19.

“The pirate gang boarded the Glarus by means of long ladders and cut the razor wire on deck,” the firm told AFP.

“The company is working with the authorities and specialists to secure the speedy and safe release of those being held.”

The attack happened around 45 nautical miles south west of Bonny Island.

Geneva-based Massoel said that the pirates had “destroyed much of the vessel’s communications equipment.”

The crew members’ nationalities remain unknown, but the firm said that their families are being closely informed of the situation. Switzerland’s foreign ministry said it had learned from the company that none of the crew members were Swiss nationals.

Nigeria’s navy and maritime police said that they were unaware of the kidnapping and would investigate.

Kidnapping for ransom is a common problem in parts of Nigeria. A number of foreigners have been kidnapped in the last few years in the southern Niger Delta region, source of most of the crude oil, which is the bedrock of west Africa’s biggest economy.