By DAPO OLAWUNI
Even as countries in the Gulf of Guinea region continues to look for permanent solution to insecurity, especially with the recently signed Abuja Declaration on Maritime Security, daredevil pirates at the weekend have kidnapped nine crew members from a bulk carrier anchored at Benin.
The ship was attacked Nov 2 on Cotonou Anchorage, Benin, Gulf of Guinea, in position 06 15N 002 33E, while nine of the crew, all philippinos, were kidnapped.
The ship wasn’t identified, but all data point at bulk carrier BONITA, anchored in exactly that position since Oct 28 on arrival from Spain. Several hours later BONITA heaved anchor and started moving towards Cotonou.
As at the last check, the ship was still berthed at the anchorage.
Meanwhile, J.J. Ugland, the owner of the ship announced the kidnap in a statement on Sunday.
According to the ship owner, the remaining crew on the vessel notified local authorities, and the vessel docked at the port city of Cotonou later on Saturday.
“The Ugland Emergency Response Team are handling this situation as per contingency plans, and they are in contact with relevant authorities. … The families of the crew members have been contacted and will be kept informed by Ugland,” it said in a statement.
“Further updates will be given as and when new confirmed information is available and releasable.” it stated