Asian, European seamen kidnapped off Cameroon: navy source

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.

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Accused Somali pirate hauled before judge in Brooklyn, denied bail

By Reuven Fenton and Natalie O’Neill

An accused pirate who was allegedly part of a Somali crew that kidnapped an American journalist and held him hostage on a hijacked ship while demanding a $20 million bounty was hauled before a federal judge in Brooklyn Wednesday.

Abdi Yusuf Hassan, 51 — who is accused of negotiating the writer’s ransom during his years-long capture — was denied bail while facing six charges, including kidnapping and hostage-taking conspiracy raps, with the judge deeming him too dangerous to be released from the brig.

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Curfew in ESSZone extended to Aug 24

KOTA KINABALU: Curfew in the waters off seven districts in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) which ends tomorrow will be extended until Aug 24.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah said the curfew from 6pm to 6am covers the waters of Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

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Former Somali pirate hostage discusses ordeal

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.

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Contact made with pirates holding 10 Turkish sailors off Nigeria

After a week of efforts and nervous waiting, contact was reportedly established with the pirates who kidnapped 10 Turkish sailors off Nigeria, as four others remain in the hands of ransom-seeking criminals in the country.

On July 16, 10 Turkish sailors were abducted in the Gulf of Guinea when pirates attacked Turkish-flagged ship Paksoy-1 bound to Abidjan in Ivory Coast from Douala in Cameroon. Out of the ship’s 18 crew members, eight were left on the ship, which was docked in the port of Tema in Ghana.

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Navy combs Niger Delta creeks to rescue Turkish sailors

Olaleye Aluko

The Nigerian Navy said on Thursday that it had deployed all its  units in the creeks and backwaters of Niger Delta to rescue 10 abducted Turkish sailors on MV Paksoy 1 vessel attacked by pirates.

The navy said  the vessel was intercepted around 8.30am on Monday by the Ghana Navy Ship, EHWOR, and escorted to the Tema Port in Ghana. The Navy Director of Information, Commodore Suleman Dahun, stated these in a statement  on Thursday.

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Turkish sailors held hostage by armed pirates in Nigeria

A group of 10 Turkish sailors has been kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Nigeria, reportedly for ransom.

The Paksoy-1 was sailing from Cameroon to Ivory Coast when the pirates boarded the ship in the Gulf of Guinea.

It was not carrying freight and eight sailors managed to escape. Turkey says it is working to secure the release of those seized.

The International Maritime Bureau says the Gulf of Guinea is the most dangerous sea in the world for piracy.

Ömer Çelik, spokesman for Turkey’s ruling AK Party, said the ministry was following the case closely and “working on it”.

Numan Paksoy, operations manager at Kadıoğlu Maritime, said about “12 pirates with heavy guns” had attacked the boat.

Crew members hid in a safe room – the citadel – when the pirates boarded the ship, but emerged after “the assailants threatened to burn the ship and kill all of them”, he told the BBC in an emailed statement.

The attackers then picked 10 sailors and let the other eight go, he added.

73% of all sea kidnappings and 92% of hostage-takings occur in the Gulf of Guinea off Nigeria, Guinea, Togo, Benin and Cameroon, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

Recently, the organisation has noted “a welcome and marked decrease” in attacks in the region due to an increase in Nigerian Navy patrols.

Twenty-one incidents have been recorded around Nigeria so far this year, compared to 31 in the same period of 2018.