Nigerian special forces deployed to free eight crew held hostage onboard boxship

Nigeria has dispatched a patrol boat with a detachment of special forces to try and resolve a hostage situation in neighbouring Benin.

Yesterday the Portuguese-flagged containership Tommi Ritscher was boarded by pirates at the Cotonou anchorage in Benin with 11 crew making it to the vessel’s citadel and another eight taken hostage onboard.

Security consultants Dryad Global reports a speedboat approached the Transeste Schiffaht-owned ship with pirates then boarding. However, a nearby naval patrol vessel spotted the speedboat, which then fled, leaving the pirates on the boxship with hostages in a tense standoff.

Two naval vessels are currently at the scene.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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