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Kidnapping in Nigeria: Hostages, including the Romanian one, in good health, ransom request expected

The name of the Romanian sailor kidnapped in Nigeria on Saturday, together with other 11 sailors, from aboard a Swiss ship, cannot be revealed by the Romanian authorities. The authorities, along with the countries of origin of the other sailors, have started the procedure to identify the pirates holding hostages on the Nigerian coast. Switzerland has activated a crisis cell and expected the kidnappers to ask for ransom. According to the first information, the hostages are in good health, stiri.tvr.ro reports on Tuesday.

The Nigerian maritime authority has confirmed the hostages are from Romania, the Philippines, Slovenia, Ukraine, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Pirates have kidnapped 12 crew members from a Swiss cargo vessel in Nigerian waters. A Romanian is one of them. He was part of the crew of a ship under Swiss flag, the Foreign Affairs Ministry informed on Monday.

The ship transported wheat from Lagos to Port Harcourt, a port city in southern Nigeria.

Pirates boarded the ship on Saturday and kidnapped 12 of the 19 crew members, stiri.tvr.ro reports.

Massoel Shipping said its vessel, MV Glarus (photo), was carrying wheat from Lagos to Port Harcourt when it was attacked on Saturday, bbc.co.uk informs. “The pirate gang boarded the Glarus by means of long ladders and cut the razor wire on deck,” the firm said.

The kidnappings are a major problem in Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta, where the country’s main oil fields are. Last year, ten hostages taking actions took place in Nigerian waters.

Foreign Minister, Teodor Melescanu, has activated the Crisis Cell to be in permanent contact with the local authorities.

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