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.