Pirates kidnap 5 foreign crew members of Ghanaian vessel

Local media says criminals abduct Korean, Chinese, Russian crew members of Atlantic Princess after attack in Gulf of Guinea

Pirates kidnap 5 foreign crew members of Ghanaian vessel FILE PHOTO


Five international crew members of a Ghanaian fishing vessel were kidnapped by suspected Nigerian pirates after they were targeted with automatic rifles in the Gulf of Guinea, local media reported on Friday.

Korean, Chinese, and Russian nationals are said to be among the five expatriate crew members kidnapped from the Ghanaian tuna-fishing vessel Atlantic Princess.

After targeting the Atlantic Princess with AK-47 rifles and damaging it, about eight pirates abducted the vessel's Korean captain, three Chinese, and a Russian.

According to GhanaWeb, the attackers not only kidnapped the crew members, but also took their personal belongings, including laptops, money, phones, and other valuables.

The report quoted an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Multinational Maritime Coordination Centre (MMCC) Zone-F Incident Report, saying that there were no injuries to the remaining crew, and that the abducted vessel was sailing back to Tema Port in southeastern Ghana.

“The vessel was approached and fired upon by a skiff boat with eight armed perpetrators on board. The vessel then stopped and five armed pirates with AK 47 boarded the vessel,” the GhanaWeb reported.

Soon after the incident, the Ghana Navy and Air Force launched a search and operation to apprehend the pirates. A search of the Niger Delta area could help locate the pirates before they land ashore, it reported.

“All mariners are cautioned that there is high possibility of pirates mothership in the form of a rusty looking small size tanker, operating in support of pirates within the general area deep offshore Tema and stretching further East into Togo, Benin, and Nigeria EEZs,” the report added.

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