16th July, 2019
Ten Turkish sailors were taken hostage by armed pirates who attacked a Turkish-flagged cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria, the vessel’s owner said on Tuesday, adding that another eight sailors were left safely aboard.
Ahmet Paksoy, a co-partner in Kadioglu Denizcilik shipping company, said the “pirates” boarded the ship and abducted the senior crew members in the Gulf of Guinea.
The company said its ship, the Paksoy-1, was attacked as it sailed from Cameroon to Ivory Coast without freight.
Eight other crew members were left behind and were able to bring the ship to harbour in Ghana.
“According to initial information, there were no injuries or casualties. Efforts for all our personnel to be safely released continue,” the company said in a statement.
Numan Paksoy, operations manager for the company, said that 12 armed men boarded the ship and threatened to “burn the ship and kill all of them.”
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the spokesman for Turkey’s ruling AK Party said the government was closely following the matter and called for the sailors to be returned safely. He declined to give further details.
Kidnappings and piracy for ransom in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea are common.
Last week, the International Maritime Bureau described the Gulf of Guinea as the most dangerous area in the world for piracy. It said 73% of all sea kidnappings and 92% of hostage-takings took place in the Gulf of Guinea.
Officials said the kidnappers have not contacted the shipping company with a ransom demand.