West Africa: African Pirates Kidnap 9 Sailors From Norwegian Ship

West African Nations with coastlines on the Gulf of Guinea.
3 November 2019

Nine sailors have been abducted by pirates while anchored off the coast of the West African country of Benin. The Gulf of Guinea is one of the world's most dangerous maritime regions.

Nine sailors on a vessel owned by the Norwegian shipping firm J.J. Ugland have been kidnapped by pirates while anchored off the coast of Benin.

The ship, named Bonita, was boarded by pirates 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) from the port city of Cotonou on Saturday and eight crew members and the captain were abducted.

In a statement to Norway's Dagens Naeringsliv newspaper on Sunday, a company spokesperson said it would not reveal the crew's nationalities, citing safety reasons.

"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," the company said.

The remaining crew was able to dock at port with its gypsum cargo the same day.

The Gulf of Guinea, which extends from Gabon to Liberia, has long been a haven for pirates seeking to plunder cargo and extract kidnapping ransom.

(AFP, Reuters)

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