Monday, September 24, 2018

Yet Another Pirate Attack in Niger Delta as Bulk Freight Vessel Seized

Ship Released but 12 Crew Held as Hostages
Shipping News Feature
NIGERIA – SWITZERLAND – Once again the Niger Delta is the scene of another pirate attack with the victim this time a Swiss owned bulk dry freight carrier captured on Saturday 22 September by a gang using long ladders to board the vessel and cut thorough the razor wire intended to deter such attacks.

Often such attacks in the past have been justified by the offenders as a necessary direct action response to the rape of the surrounding countryside by international oil companies, often with the collusion of corrupt local officials, a defence which cannot be supported in this, the seizure of the Glarus which was carrying a cargo of wheat bound for Port Harcourt.

The intruders stormed aboard the ship, positioned some 45 miles off the coast of Bonny Island, wrecking communication equipment and imprisoning the 19 strong, mainly Filipino, crew. After taking control the hijackers abandoned the vessel taking twelve hostages with them, reportedly 7 Filipinos and one man from Slovenia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia and Bosnia respectively.

The ship is owned by Massoel Shipping headquartered in Geneva with branches in Liverpool and Manila, and which says it is deploying specialist negotiators to try and arrange repatriation whilst keeping the families of the captured crew informed at every step.