Pirates kidnapped 12 crew members from a Swiss bulk carrier in Nigerian waters on Saturday.
Seven other crew members were on board the Massoel Shipping vessel Glarus at the time. The vessel was carrying wheat between Lagos and Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta, and the attack happened around 45 nautical miles south west of Bonny Island.
The pirates apparently used long ladders and cut the razor wire on deck to gain access to the vessel and destroyed the ship’s communications equipment before leaving.
Massoel Shipping issued a statement saying it was working with authorities and specialists to ensure a rapid release of those detained. According to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, seven of the kidnapped men are from the Philippines and one from each of Slovenia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia and Bosnia.
The second quarterly report from the ICC International Maritime Bureau, released in July, states that six separate incidents of crew kidnapping had occurred so far in 2018, involving 25 crew members, all in the Gulf of Guinea. The Bureau highlights the area as high-risk and states that the true number of incidents in the Gulf of Guinea may be significantly higher than reported.