Eight crewmemebers who were kidnapped by pirates from containership Tommi Ritscher last month off Benin have been freed by the Nigerian Navy in a rescue operation.
The boxship was attacked by pirates on April 19 while it was at anchor off the port of Cotonou. Nigerian special forces later rescued 11 crew members from the ship’s citadel and the remaining eight was held hostage by the pirates.
Admiral Oladele Daji from the Nigerian Navy told AFP that all eight crewmemebers were freed in a rescue operations, although said it was premature to give any details on their captivity and release.
The crew are now under medical observation and one of them is receiving medical treatment for malnutrition.
The owner of ship, Hamburg-based shipping firm Transeste, confirmed the release of the kidnapped crew who will be repatriated back to their families.
“Whilst the trend of incidents within West Africa is showing a gradual decline, there is an upward trend in severity of incident notably those involving kidnap for ransom. Vessels operating in this region must maintain the highest levels of vigilance and ensure that vessels are adequately hardened when required,” security consultancy Dryad Global stated in a recent note to clients.