Kidnapped crew from MSC boxship released by pirates

Six crew members, including the captain, kidnapped earlier this month from 2,668 teu MSC Mandy off Benin, have been released according to Russian media.

The Panama-flagged vessel was attacked and boarded around 55 nautical miles off Cotonou on January 2, and negotiations to have the seafarers released have been ongoing since.

Splash understands that Russian authorities had been leading negotiations as the vessel’s crew was almost entirely Russian.

Benin has become a piracy hotspot over the last year, with a series of incidents occurring since January when a Union Maritime oil products tanker was taken along with 22 crew members while anchored off Cotonou.

Meanwhile, MSC Mandy has resumed normal service and is currently moored in Antwerp.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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