6 tanker crew members seized by pirates freed in West Africa

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Six crew members of a Liberian-flagged tanker held hostage for more than a month by pirates in West Africa have been freed, the Danish shipping company that owns the vessel said Monday.

On March 25, pirates boarded the Monjasa Reformer southwest of Port Pointe-Noire, Congo. The ship was found abandoned five days later by a French navy patrol off the small island nation of Sao Tomé and Principe north of where the attack took place.

The pirates left 10 of the 16 crew members on board, kidnapping the remaining six and taking them to shore in Nigeria.

In a statement, Monjasa company spokesperson Thorstein Andreasen said that the ordeal of the six crew members had ended Monday and they were “now safely recovered from an undisclosed location in Nigeria.”

All “are in a relatively good health condition given the difficult circumstances they have been under in the last more than five weeks,” Andreasen said in the statement. He added that they had received medical checks and were being repatriated to their home countries to reunite with their families.

The Gulf of Guinea is one of the world’s most dangerous places for attacks on ships. This hijacking took place further south in an area that is not typically attacked by pirates.

Source: AP

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