Container Vessel Released after Hijacking
A container ship, the Singapore-registered Safmarine Kuramo, has been released after it was hijacked off the Nigerian Coast on Friday night. The crew of 25 are reported to be safe.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said the 195m (640-foot) vessel was hijacked at about 8.06pm (Singapore time) en route from Pointe Noire, Congo, to Port Onne, Nigeria.
The vessel was boarded by armed pirates who robbed the crew and took some of the cargo. The Nigerian authorities were able to negotiate the release of the crew and the vessel on Saturday at 1.20am (Singapore time), and it is currently anchored in the waters off the Bonny River delta near to Port Onne.
Safmarine Kuramo is managed by Maersk Line. The crew consisted of nationals from the Philippines, South Africa, India, the U.K. and Thailand.
The incident follows an earlier hijacking of the product tanker Leon Dias. Two high-ranking Nigerian Navy officials confirmed Wednesday that the tanker was hijacked by Biafran separatists who are calling for the reinstatement of the Biafra state in Southern Nigeria. According to Nigerian media reports, the vessel and crew have now been released.