Working as a crew member on a ship is a dream for many Filipinos because the job pays quite well. However, working on a ship carries a lot of risk such as being abducted by pirates.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) yesterday divulged that seven Filipino crew members have been kidnapped by Nigerian pirates off the coast of the African nation.
The Filipinos were on board the Swiss-owned cargo vessel MV Glarus, which pirates attacked on Saturday. Reuters reported that aside from the Filipinos, other crew members kidnapped included one citizen each from Slovenia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia, and Bosnia.
According to a statement from Massoel Shipping, the company which owned the ship, MV Glarus was carrying wheat and was traveling between the capital Lagos and Port Harcourt, a city located in the Niger Delta, when it was attacked by pirates who kidnapped 12 of the 19 crew members.
In its statement, Massoel Shipping said: “It is understood the pirate gang boarded the Glarus by means of long ladders and cut the razor wire on deck to gain access to the vessel and eventually the bridge.”
It added: “Having destroyed much of the vessel’s communications equipment the criminal gang departed taking 12 of the 19 crew complement as hostage.”
The NIMASA’s spokesperson Sunday Umoren said the crew members are still missing, ABS-CBN News reported.
Massoel Shipping has also said that they are working to secure “the speedy and safe release of those being held,” according to Voice of America.
Pirate attacks have become so common in Nigeria that in October 2016, the African Union signed a pact which requires members to contribute to a special fund which will be used to beef up maritime security in the continent’s coasts.
That didn’t stop pirates, however — in 2017, the NIMASA recorded a total of 41 pirate attacks on ships which occurred on the country’s waters.
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