After almost a month in captivity, the Nigerian army released 14 crewmembers from a Chinese fishing boat from their pirate kidnappers, following a ransom payment.
To remind, the crew of six Chinese, three Indonesians, a Gabon national and four Nigerians were kidnapped in early February when the tuna fishing vessel was attacked.
In fact, the Chinese fishing vessel, named as “Lianpengyu 809”, which flies under Gabonese flag, had been boarded by pirates aboard speedboats off Port-Gentil, a Gabonese port.
A few days after the attack, the pirates and the vessel’s crew were spotted some 110 km from the Nigerian island of Bonny.
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“The ten men were kidnapped off Gabon on February 7 and brought back to the Nigerian coast. A ransom of $ 300,000 had been paid before we arrived to rescue them, ”army lieutenant-colonel Mohammed Yahaya told AFP on Saturday evening.
After the payment of the $ 300,000 ransom, and while the hostages were leaving the bush where they were being held in south-eastern Nigeria, ” information concerning a probable new kidnapping reached us ” deciding ” the army and pro-government militias to intervene to rescue them, ”he added.
Concluding, maritime security consultant Dryad Global explained that the ship was used by pirates as a mother ship to attack tankers in the area.