Nigeria Searching for Kidnapped MV Szafir’s Crew

The Nigerian Navy and other security agencies have launched a search and rescue operation for the kidnapped crew of the Polish cargo ship.

Namely, five crew members, including the captain of the Cyprus-flagged MV Szafir were kidnapped on Friday, November 27th off Nigeria, when the ship was boarded by a group of armed men approximately seven nautical miles east of Brass at about 01:49 hours local time.

Eleven crew members managed to escape the pirates by barricading themselves inside the ship’s engine room.

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said that it had taken control of the vessel, which was subsequently sailed to Onne port under the Nigerian Navy escort for further investigation.

The Acting Director General of NIMASA, Haruna Baba Jauro said that a full scale investigation is underway and that he has ordered for the release of the captain and four crew members of the Polish cargo vessel.

Registered with IMO No.9004504, the vessel, which is owned by Voltaire Shipping Company and operated by Euroafrica Services Nigeria Limited, was en route to Onne port from Antwerp when it was attacked.

As indicated by the Associated Press, the ship has sustained damages as the armed group opened fire on the cargo ship.

Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said on Friday that the kidnappers had yet to voice their ransom demands.

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