Six Turkish crew members of Malta-flagged tanker MT Puli who were kidnapped by pirates over two weeks ago while sailing off Port Harcourt, Nigeria have been released.
“The six of them have been released and are back in Istanbul. All are in good health,“ Fehmi Ulgener, a lawyer for the shipping firm Kaptanoglu Denizcilik is quoted as saying by Reuters.
Terms of the crew’s release have not been disclosed, however pirates were reportedly seeking an undisclosed ransom amount for the kidnapped seafarers.
World Maritime News is yet to receive a reply from Kaptanoglu Denizcilik on the matter.
MT Puli was en route from Douala port to Nigerian Abidjan port when it was boarded by pirates who stole cash, ship’s properties, crew personal belongings and escaped with the kidnapped crew, ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) informed.
The remaining crew members aboard the 15,800 dwt tanker managed to reach a safe port.
Since the start of the year at least 32 pirate attacks off the coast of Nigeria were recorded as piracy surges in the Gulf of Guinea.
As a result, Nigeria is estimated to be losing about USD 1.5 billion a month due to piracy, armed robbery at sea, smuggling, and fuel supply fraud.
World Maritime News Staff