A Norway-based shipping company says that nine of its employees have been abducted from one of its vessels while it was moored off the coast of Benin in West Africa.
Shipping firm J.J. Ugland said the cargo ship, the Bonita, was attacked on Saturday by pirates 15km (9 miles) off the coast.
The crew’s identity and nationality have not been made public, but the shipping firm said the rest of the crew moved the vessel into the Port of Cotonou in Benin.
The ship was carrying a cargo of gypsum, a mineral commonly used as fertiliser, which was destined for Benin, the firm said.
While piracy has decreased world wide, West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea remains notorious for abductions by armed groups who usually demand ransoms for the safe return of victims.
Several abductions have been reported in the region in recent months, including eight crew members taken from a German-owned vessel off Cameroon in August, and 10 Turkish sailors off the coast of Nigeria in July.