Published: Mon, September 24, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Pirates kidnap 12 crew from Swiss ship off Nigeria: Ship company

Pirates kidnap 12 crew from Swiss ship off Nigeria: Ship company

Pirates off the coast of Nigeria have kidnapped 12 crew members of a Swiss vessel, including workers from Philippines, Slovenia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The pirates then destroyed the ship's communications equipment before making off with 12 of the 19 crew members.

The vessel was travelling between Lagos and Port Harcourt when the pirates struck 45 nautical miles south west of Bonny Island, Massoel Shipping said in a statement.

The Geneva-based shipping company said "all the appropriate authorities have been notified" and specialists have been called in to "secure the speedy and safe release of those being held".

The Massoel spokesman said the crew members' families are being closely informed of the situation.

"The safety and well-being of those taken hostage is the first and absolute priority of Massoel Shipping".

More than 60 crew were reported kidnapped previous year in waters off Nigeria, Africa's leading crude producer, although many attacks are not reported. The Swiss foreign affairs ministry says none of the crew members is from Switzerland.

Nigeria's Navy told Reuters it was investigating the incident.

The attack occurred Saturday morning: a ship flying the flag of switzerland has been attacked by pirates off the coast of Nigeria.

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