Pirates have released all eight crewmembers kidnapped from the general cargo ship BBC Caribbean off the coast of Nigeria last month, the Russian embassy has confirmed.
The seven Russians and one Ukrainian were kidnapped during an attack on the German-owned BBC Caribbean while in Nigeria’s territorial waters on February 5. The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre reported that the attack took place about 31 nautical miles from the Bayelsa coast, located in the heart Niger Delta region. At least three other crew members managed to avoid being kidnapped by hiding aboard the ship, and later they were able to steer the vessel away from coast and to a safe port.
The Russian embassy confirmed on Monday that the Russian sailors had been released and have already left Nigeria for Russia, referring to their health as “satisfactory”. The embassy said Russian diplomats were in close contact with the shipowner and Nigerian law enforcement, as well as with the hostages, throughout the ordeal. Media reports indicate that the Ukrainian sailor was also released.
The Antigua and Barbuda-flagged BBC Caribbean is managed by Briese Schiffahrts.
It was unclear if a ransom was paid for the release of the hostages.