Acting Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Haruna Baba Jauro, has directed a full scale investigation and release of the Captain and four crew members of a Polish cargo vessel who were abducted off Nigeria’s coast. Eleven of the crew members were left on the vessel after the abduction.
NIMASA’s Head of Public Relations, Hajia Lami Tumaka, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos.
The vessel MV SZAFIR operating under the Cyprus flag was reportedly attacked on Friday, November 27, approximately seven nautical miles east of Brass at about 0149 hours local time.
Registered with IMO No.9004504, the vessel which is owned by Voltaire Shipping Company and operated by Euroafrica Services Nigeria Limited, had a total of 16 crew members and was enroute Onne port from Antwerp before it was attacked.
The vessel has been rescued by NIMASA and is currently being sailed to Onne port under the Nigerian Navy escort for protection and further investigation.
Meanwhile the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies have commenced a spirited search for the abducted crew with a view to freeing them and bringing the perpetrators of the abduction to book.
It would be recalled that Poland’s Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski Friday, raised an alarm that sea pirates had attacked its cargo ship under the Cyprus flag off the coast of Nigeria, and kidnapped five members of the crew, including the captain and officers.
“The rest of the crew, 11 people, are still on the ship and they are safe… The ship suffered some damages,” Waszczykowski told a news conference.
The ship is currently anchored around 30 sea miles off the Nigerian coast.
Kidnappers have not made any demands yet, according to the Polish government official.