Crew from German and Greek ships kidnapped by pirates off Cameroon

epa02352340 (FILE) A file picture dated 18 September 2008 shows militants patrol the volatile oil rich creeks of the Niger delta in Nigeria. Three French crewmen have been kidnapped in an attack on a ship in an oilfield off the coast of Nigeria on 21 September 2010. Marine services company Bourbon claims pirates in several speedboats attacked one of its vessels. There has been no claims of responsibility but kidnappings and attacks are frequent in the Niger Delta, the heart of Africa's biggest oil and gas industry. EPA/GEORGE ESIRI

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Pirates have kidnapped eight crew members of a German-owned ship, the MarMalaita, in a raid on the vessel off Douala, off the coast of Cameroon as well from a Greek owned vessel, the Victory C.

The Hamburg-based company that owns the ship, MC-Schiffahrt, said in a statement on its website that it had assembled an emergency team and was cooperating with local authorities in the West African country to deal with the incident, which happened late on Wednesday.

It said the MarMalaita, had 12 crew members on board at the time of the abduction.

In Malaysia, Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), a watchdog agency, said the German ship was not the only one targeted and that 17 seamen were seized from two ships that were attacked within hours of each other while they were anchored off Douala.

Choong said one of the ships was a multipurpose German-owned ship that flew the flag of Antigua and Barbuda.

“Eight crew were kidnapped from the ship, consisting of a total of 12 Asian and European sailors,” he said.

The other vessel was a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier managed in Greece with a Greek owner.

“There were 21 crew on board. All were Asians. Nine crew were taken,” Choong told AFP.

Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement quoted by news agencies that three of the kidnapped sailors were Russian nationals. Many Ukrainians also hold Russian citizenship.


Via Reuters /France 24/  MC-Schiffahrt / Maritime Bulletin


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