Pirates hijack ship and take crew hostage at Benin

Pirates have hijacked a container ship off the coast of African Benin and probably taken eight crew members hostage. It concerns the Portuguese-flagged Tommi Ritscher of the German shipping company Gerd Ritscher, reported a representative of the shipping company in Singapore.

According to the Russian embassy in the city of Cotonou in southern Benin, there are at least three Russians among the hostages.

The pirates attacked the ship when it was anchored near the port of Cotonou. Manpower from the navy of Benin and special units from Nigeria managed to get eleven crew members off board during an action on Tuesday, who had gone to a special security area on the ship. There are patrol vessels of the Benin Navy with the vessel.

Nothing is known about the pirates’ demands.

Source: ANP

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.