Thursday 27 October 2016

Pirates hold Polish captain and crew members hostage after ship invasion off Nigeria coast

Published 28/11/2015 | 20:22

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Nigerian security agencies are conducting a "spirited search" for the Polish captain and four crew members abducted from a cargo ship, an official has said.

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Spokeswoman Lami Tumaka, of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, said the attacked ship MV Szafir was recovered and 11 other crew members rescued a few miles offshore.

Ms Tumaka said the Nigerian navy and other agencies want to free the hostages and arrest the perpetrators.

In Poland, foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski said the ship with the 11 crew members was being safely brought to a Nigerian navy port, but did not specify which one.

He said there was no word from the abducted crew or from the kidnappers.

Earlier, Mr Waszczykowski said the ship was damaged when pirates fired on it before midnight on Thursday.

Officials in Poland were expecting that a ransom demand might be made.

Kidnapping for ransom is rampant in Nigeria with hostages generally released unharmed if ransoms are paid.

Polish ship owner EuroAfrica said the Cyprus-flagged Szafir was travelling from Belgium to Nigeria carrying metal cranes and other cargo.

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