The Nigerian navy reported today that it works jointly with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to track and rescue 12 crew members kidnapped from a Swiss cargo ship that sails in Nigerian waters.
Navy spokesman Ayo Olugbode said several agencies are working on a joint search operation to locate the crew, which has been held since Saturday.
The sailors were aboard the Swiss-owned MV Glarus, which was transporting wheat. The MV Glarus was attacked Saturday near the city of Port Harcourt on its way from Lagos. Shipowner Massoel Shipping said the pirates used long ladders, cutting through razor wire to capture a dozen sailors from the crew of 19.
According to the Agency for Security and Maritime Administration of Nigeria, the crew members are citizens from the Philippines, Slovenia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia and Bosnia.
Preliminary investigations of the incident show that pirates attacked about 45 nautical miles south-southwest of Bonny Island (southwest), and that the sailors were taken ashore, Olugbode said.
The spokesman added that he had no information on the rescue demands, and that they are currently trying to establish whether the necessary protection measures were taken during the incident.
According to the non-profit organization dedicated to combating crime at sea, only 10 abduction incidents were reported with 65 crew members in or near Nigeria’s waters in 2017, the lowest number in the last 22 years.
There were six kidnappings of crews at sea in the first half of 2018, according to the International Maritime Bureau, all in the Gulf of Guinea.