Ten Turkish sailors were taken hostage by armed pirates who attacked a Turkish-flagged cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria, the vessel’s owner said on Tuesday, adding that another eight sailors were left safely aboard.
According to a statement from the ship operator Kadıoğlu Maritime, the ship named “Paksoy-1” was sailing without freight from Cameroon’s port city of Douala to Abidjan in Ivory Coast when the pirates boarded the ship in the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean.
According to Reuters, Turkey’s foreign ministry said the sailors were seized on Saturday evening. After the pirates left the ship it was taken to Ghana’s Tema port, and Ghanaian and Nigerian authorities are working on returning the captured sailors, the ministry said.
“According to initial information, there were no injuries or casualties. Efforts for all our personnel to be safely released continue,” the company said in a statement.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the spokesman for Turkey’s ruling AK Party said the government was closely following the matter and called for the sailors to be returned safely. He declined to give further details.
Kidnappings and piracy for ransom in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea are common.
The International Maritime Bureau described, last week, that the Gulf of Guinea is the most dangerous area in the world for piracy. It said 73% of all sea kidnappings and 92% of hostage-takings took place in the Gulf of Guinea.