Nigerian pirates kidnap 12 members of a Swiss cargo ship in Nigerian waters
Seven of the kidnapped members of the crew are from the Philippines, and among the kidnapped are the Croat, a citizen of B&H, a Slovene, a Ukrainian, and a Romanian. This information has been announced by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Security Agency (NMASA).
“They are still considered missing”, said the head of NMASA, Sunday Umoren.
The ship was transporting wheat from Lagos to Port Harcourt in Nigeria, and was set upon on Saturday.
” The pirate band boarded the ship, Glarus, with the help of long ladders and cut the wire on the deck”, said the Massoel Shipping company for AFP.
The attackers carried out the assault some 45 nautical miles from Bonny Island in the Niger river delta and captured 12 out of the 19 crewmembers.
The company spokesman said that the attackers “destroyed most of the communications equipment”. The pirates were armed, according to news agencies.
The company spokesman also said that the families of the kidnapped are all well-informed about everything. They added that the company was working on a “quick and safe release of the hostages”.
Pirate attacks and kidnappings are common in Nigeria, and other than foreigners, common targets are also wealthy Nigerians.
UPDATE: Recent developments
Sailor’s union: Everything is being resolved in secrecy
Index.hr contacted the Union of Croatian Sailors to try to get more information on the abduction.
“We are in touch with a colleague from Switzerland, who leads the Nautilus trade union, and there is no new information in relation to what has already been published in the media. We have the information published by the BBC, namely the name of the ship and the nationality of the crewmates. The company is obviously trying to resolve this in a, shall we say, quiet way. That is how these situations are most often resolved”, said Secretary General of the Sailors’ Union of Croatia, Neven Melvan, to Index.hr.
He adds that such situations are usually solved by negotiating with kidnappers. “I do not believe the Ministry of Foreign Affairs knows much more than us, the company is trying to solve it,” he added.
He also says he does not have information about the Croatian seaman and his identity.
“The kidnappings and classic piracy have not happened at all lately, so this is a bit unusual, and it’s interesting to see why this has happened.” The ships are under escort and are armed as well as protected – why this has come to pass here, remains to be seen, “Melvan concluded.
Ministry: We are in contact with the company
“We can confirm that one Croatian national is among the abducted crew members in Nigerian waters. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs is, through the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Bern, in constant contact with the Crisis Management of Swiss MVP and the shipping company,” the response to Index’s inquiry from the Ministry.
This is common practice in Nigerian waters, which are infested with pirates. As it has been shown time and again, it is not a good idea to import people from all over the world in an attempt to replace European populations with the aim of offsetting our declining birthrates, we must fix them ourselves. We do not want these practices in our waters or our homelands.