Pirates kidnap 2 in attack off Nigeria

2012-02-29 08:17
Kuala Lumpur - Armed pirates opened fire on a cargo ship in an attack off the Nigerian coast, kidnapping the captain and chief engineer and robbing the crew before escaping, a maritime watchdog said on Wednesday.

Tuesday's attack also left one crew member missing and another injured, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said, and was the latest in a series of incidents indicating heightened piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

The assault at about 15:00 GMT Tuesday targeted a Dutch-owned, Curacao-flagged refrigerated cargo ship that was anchored near the coast, said Noel Choong, head of the IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre.

A group of about eight pirates armed with guns carried out the attack on the ship, which had a crew of 14, he said, adding that Nigerian authorities had been alerted.

Choong said he had received no word yet on the fate of those reported missing or whether any ransom was being demanded.

Piracy 'hotspot'

"The attacks off the Nigerian coast are very violent and they are increasing," Choong said.

"So far we have seen seven attacks off Nigeria this year and one off of Benin. So that makes eight since the beginning of the year and we believe many more attacks may have gone unreported."

Two weeks ago, pirates fired on a cargo vessel off Nigeria, killing the ship's captain, according to the IMB.

Choong said that vessel's chief engineer died from a fall during the attack, correcting earlier reports that he also had been shot dead.

That ship was Panamanian-flagged but its owners were Taiwanese, he said.

The IMB has said other recent attacks in the area included a tanker that was hijacked south of Nigeria earlier in February. Nigerian vessels intercepted that ship and rescued its crew.

The IMB, which is funded by ship owners, warned in September that the seas off Benin, Nigeria's neighbour, were emerging as a new piracy "hotspot" due to the weak enforcement capabilities of governments in the region.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa  |  maritime

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Lood leads heavy Bok assault
Hosts England crash out of RWC
Cotter takes loss on the chin
'Basic' Bok plan worked well
Traffic Alerts

Spontaneity is the order of the day. Let go and have some fun. Try not to set too many set plans and expectations and enjoy the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.