Yaoundé (AFP) – Asian and European seamen were kidnapped Thursday aboard a vessel in the Gulf of Guinea off the southern Cameroon port of Douala, a senior Cameroonian navy source said.
“(They) were abducted this morning,” said the source, who gave no details about the number or nationality of the kidnap victims. “The kidnappers are probably Nigerian pirates,” the source said. “Cameroonian forces have launched search operations.”
MSM Note: Some media sources have stated that Cameroonian naval personnel were also abducted during the attack.
A Ghanaian mariner, Jewel Ahiagble, who worked on contract as an Electrical Engineer on a vessel which was hijacked by Somali pirates for about 1000 days in 2009, has survived narrowly to give a harrowing account of the voyage.
Opening up for the first time since the crew’s rescue in 2012, Mr. Ahiagble recounted the chilling tale of torture, violent abuses, deaths, anxiety and trauma to host Winston Amoah on the #RoadtoGlory segment of 3FM’s Sunrise.
The Nigerian Navy has traced the cargo ship on which 10 Turkish sailors were abducted to Ghana, saying rescue efforts were ongoing to bring back the sailors.
The navy said the vessel was at a Ghanaian port while it was working with sister navies to unravel the circumstances around the abduction of the Turkish sailors. The Turkish sailors were reported on Tuesday to have been kidnapped for ransom by armed men off the coast of Nigeria.
The High Commission of India in Abuja, Nigeria sought help from the Nigerian Navy to track the whereabouts of the missing Indian sailors, which in turn roped in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to lead the rescue efforts.
Five Indian seafarers who had been kidnapped about two-and-a-half months earlier in Nigeria were rescued on Thursday, according to a statement issued by the Shipping Ministry.
“I am happy to share that due to sustained efforts of various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Shipping, the Directorate General of Shipping and the High Commission of India in Abuja, Nigeria, the kidnapped Indian seafarers were successfully released and reached the safe custody of Indian authorities on June 27,” Union Minister of State for Shipping, Mansukh L Mandaviya said.