15 Turkish sailors who were kidnapped by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea last month, off Nigeria’s coast have been released.
This was disclosed by a shipping company executive who added that a ransom was also discussed, according to a report by Reuters.
Levent Karsan from Istanbul-based Boden Shipping said in an interview that the Sailors were not harmed and would be returning to Turkey in a couple of days.
“This wasn’t a political kidnapping,” Karsan said. “This kind of kidnapping happens in that region unfortunately and is completely aimed at getting ransom.”
He urged the United Nations to tackle piracy in the region.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu disclosed that a British company had handled negotiations, and added that Turkish shipping companies “must learn a lesson from this and work together to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
In case you missed it: Nairametrics reported last month that a Turkish ship was attacked, off Nigeria’s Gulf of Guinea coast, killing an Azerbaijani citizen, and kidnapping 15 sailors, with reports stating the attack, happened way offshore compared to other attacks.
What you should know
- Nairametrics also reported that West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea recorded an unprecedented increase in piracy attacks in 2020, according to the International Maritime Bureau in its 2020 Annual Piracy report.
- The IMB reported that 135 crew members were kidnapped from their vessels in 2020, with the Gulf of Guinea accounting for over 95% kidnapped. A record of 130 crew members was kidnapped in 22 separate incidents.
- The FG launched the $195 million Deep Blue Project which is a NIMASA initiative aimed at the prevention of illegal activities in the maritime domain. Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi stated that all equipment needed for the Deep Blue Project will be ready by March 2021.