12 of the 19 crew members of a ship have been kidnapped from a Swiss merchant vessel off the coast of Nigeria.
Sky TV reports that the ship, MV Glarus was carrying wheat between Lagos and the southern Niger Delta oil hub of Port Harcourt.
It was boarded by pirates when it was around 45 nautical miles south west of Bonny Island.
Massoel Shipping, which operates the MV Glarus, said in a statement: “The company is working with the authorities and specialists to secure the speedy and safe release of those being held.”
It did not disclose the nationalities of those kidnapped but the Swiss foreign ministry said none were from Switzerland.
Kidnapping for ransom is a big problem in Nigeria, with the Niger Delta region a particular target as it is the source of most of the country’s
In August, security firm EOS Risk Group said there had been 34 Nigerian pirate attacks on merchant and fishing vessels in the Gulf of Guinea between January and June this year.
The firm warned that instability in the Niger Delta would increase in the run up to Nigeria’s general election in February next year, possibility resulting in more piracy.