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 informs. The 12 seamen who were kidnapped by the pirates on the Nigerian coast are from Romania, the Philippines, Slovenia, Ukraine, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Nigerian Maritime Authority announced.
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, 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.
Specialists are en route to ensure the hostages’ “speedy and safe release”, the shipping company further said. Switzerland’s foreign ministry said Massoel had confirmed that none of those kidnapped were from the country itself.
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.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Romanian Embassy in Bern and the Embassy of Romania in Abuja, takes note of the events related to the incident occurred off the Nigerian waters on September 22, 2018, in which a Swiss flag vessel was involved. The representatives of the two diplomatic missions undertook steps, as a matter of urgency, to the local authorities to obtain information on the existence of Romanian citizens among the affected persons. From the information obtained from the Swiss authorities, it was confirmed that among the members of the kidnapped crew there is also a Romanian citizen,” the press release reads.
“The Embassy of Romania in Bern maintains the permanent contact with the Swiss foreign ministry Crisis Cell and the Romanian Embassy in Abuja is in contact with the Nigerian authorities for other information of interest in resolving the case. At the same time, Foreign Minister, Teodor Melescanu, has activated by the Crisis Cell. The Crisis Cell of the ministry, through the diplomatic missions involved, monitors the situation and is in constant contact with local authorities and the ship-owner,” the press release also reads.