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Pirates Seize Containership Off Benin, Kidnap Crew -Bulgarian and Russians

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PortandTerminal.com, April 21, 2020

SOFIA, BULGARIA– Pirates attacked a Portugal-flagged ship and kidnapped its Bulgarian captain and seven sailors off the coast of Benin, Bulgaria’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday. The incident took place in the late hours on Saturday night.

Map of equatorial, east Africa

The pirates used a speed boat to catch up with the container ship and managed to board her.

READ: Supply Chain Threats – Time to arm ships and shoot to kill when attacked by pirates

Of the 19 people on board – mostly Filipino nationals, 11 crew members managed to stay safe, while eight are missing and are presumed to have been taken as hostages.

Related: Pirates attack 6 ships in one week in the Gulf of Mexico. VIDEO of one attack

A representative of the Russian Embassy in Benin and Togo was quoted as saying by TASS news agency that three Russian citizens were among the hostages seized.

This is the latest incident of piracy off the coast of Benin. In November the West African nation’s authorities opened an investigation after pirates abducted nine people from a Norwegian-flagged boat.

READ: Nine crew kidnapped from bulk carrier off Benin

While piracy has decreased worldwide, West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea is a high-risk area for abductions and armed robbery with shippers reporting several abductions in the region in recent months.

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