Russians among hostages taken by pirates off W/African coast – Embassy says

Russians among hostages taken by pirates off W/African coast – Embassy says

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 2:40 pm

FILE: pirates on waterway

The Russian Embassy in Benin Republic on Tuesday said three Russians were among seven or eight crew members of a German-managed cargo ship captured off the coast of the West African country of Benin.

“The embassy continues to follow the developing situation with the Russian sailors.

“The other hostages’ nationalities have not been disclosed,“the embassy said.

The Portuguese-flagged, 255-metre-long container ship, Tommi Ritscher, managed by German company Transeste Schiffahrt, was raided on Sunday in an anchorage at Cotonou, the largest city in Benin.

According to the consulting firm MTI in Singapore, eleven crew members took shelter in the ship’s citadel during the incident and are safe.

According to MTI, the pirates are believed to have fled with the hostages.

The priority now is to focus on the ongoing safety and welfare of the eight missing crew members.

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB), said that seas around West Africa remain the world’s most dangerous for piracy.

The Gulf of Guinea, off the coasts of Benin, Cameroon, Guinea, Nigeria and Togo, presents the highest risk, accounting for 73 per cent of global abductions at sea and 92 per cent of hostage-takings.(dpa/NAN

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