MV Solarte. Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Maksimas
Four crew members who were kidnapped from an cargo ship off the Niger Delta in October have been freed in Nigeria, according to reports.
The four men, two from Lithuania and two from the Ukraine, were kidnapped October 19th from the Comoros-flagged refrigerated cargo ship Solarte as the ship sailed off the Niger Delta. During the attack, the pirates stole ship’s cash, destroyed equipment and kidnapped the four of the 19 crew members before escaping.
The release of the kidnap victims was announced by the Lithuanian foreign ministry, according to AFP.
Following the attack last month, maritime security firm Dryad Maritime noted that the incident marked the return of West Africa pirate attacks, an area that has experienced low levels of maritime crime in recent months.
“This is the first incident reported at sea off the Niger Delta in five months and has taken place 100 NM further west than the spate of kidnappings which took place earlier this year,” Dryad said in late October. “It comes at a time when the Nigerian Navy are conducting increased patrols of the approaches to the Bonny River, and these patrols may have forced this criminal gang to look into operating in this wider area of West Africa.”
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