News / Africa

Pirates Demand $1.3 Million for Foreign Hostages

TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Nigerian authorities say a search is underway for pirates demanding a $1.3 million ransom for six foreigners kidnapped from an oil vessel Sunday.

A police spokesman in Bayelsa state said Wednesday that one of the suspected kidnappers called authorities to demand the payment to release the crew members.  He said three of the abducted crew members are from Ukraine, two from India and one from Russia.

The foreigners were taken hostage after pirates attacked their ship off the coast of Nigeria.  The vessel is operated by Century Group, a Nigerian-based oil servicing company.

In an interview with VOA, International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Director Pottengal Mukundan said weak enforcement of maritime laws has contributed to an increase in piracy off Nigeria's coast and across the Gulf of Guinea region.  

"Nigeria has in the past year-and-a-half caught a few gangs and they are in the process of going through their trials at the moment," said Mukundan. "But, a lot more needs to be done and these kinds of crimes which started in Nigeria have spilled over the border into Benin, Togo and lately as far away as the Ivory Coast."  

The IMB says incidents off Nigeria's coast rose from 10 in 2011 to 27 last year.

Earlier this month, gunmen fired on a chemical tanker in Lagos.  A crew member was killed in that incident.

Mukundan says the IMB, which runs a piracy reporting center, is seeing a mixture of attacks along Africa's West Coast.

"You have the armed thefts for the ships," said Mukundan. "You also have the cases where product tankers are hijacked by these gangs in order to steal a small part of the cargo, around 2 - 4,000 tons of product oils from the ship.  And then, the ship and the crew are normally released within 7 to 10 days."  

Mukundan says the IMB has recorded 10 piracy attacks along Africa's west coast so far this year.    

He says a total of 44 crew members have been taken hostage aboard vessels. He says an additional 11 were kidnapped and held at other locations.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Francis from: Enugu
February 22, 2013 8:35 AM
It is argued that illegal oil bunkering not only undermines security and governance in Nigeria, but also feeds into the wave of maritime afflictions that threaten regional stability and development in the GG. Its transnational nature - origin, transit route, and destination - presupposes that efforts to combat the illicit transaction must as a matter of necessity cover the three spectrums to be very effective..... http://reference.sabinet.co.za/document/EJC130232

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid