Nine Filipino seafarers are believed to be under the hands of suspected pirates right now after reportedly abducted while waiting in the harbor of the port of Cotonou in Benin, port authorities said in a statement.
Based on the statement, which was reported by international wire agencies, a crime of piracy happened after several suspected pirates attacked a ship called Bonita “about nine miles off the entrance to the port and eight crew members plus the ship’s captain were abducted.”
Ugland company, the company which owns the ship, confirmed in its official statement that the MV bonita was allegedly “boarded by pirates early Saturday morning off Cotonou/Benin while she was at anchor.”
The statement further stated that:”9 crew members were taken off the vessel while she was waiting for berth to discharge inbound cargo, gypsum. Remaining crew notified local authorities and Bonita arrived alongside in Cotonou later the same day.”
A company spokesman told the Dagens Naeringsliv newspaper that the abducted sailors were all Filipinos. However, the firm withheld the names of the abductees.
Benin, is a Western African nation, a former French outpost, which is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. Majority of its people live in the southern coastline of the Bight of Benin which is part of the Gulf of Guinea, in the northernmost tropical part of the Atlantic Ocean.
For years, reports of piracy has been reported in various parts of the Gulf, making it one of the world’s most dangerous maritime region. African pirates, usually motivated by poverty, attack on ships using high powered firearms. These pirates abduct crews for ransom. The pirates sometimes divert ships for several days, long enough to plunder the cargo and demand huge ransoms before freeing the crew.