The Nigerian Navy has traced the cargo ship on which 10 Turkish sailors were abducted to Ghana, saying rescue efforts were ongoing to bring back the sailors.
The navy said the vessel was at a Ghanaian port while it was working with sister navies to unravel the circumstances around the abduction of the Turkish sailors.
The Turkish sailors were reported on Tuesday to have been kidnapped for ransom by armed men off the coast of Nigeria.
The shipping company, Kadioglu Denizcilik, had said in a statement that the vessel was attacked when the pirates boarded the ship, which left Cameroon and was heading for Ivory Coast in the Gulf of Guinea.
“Vessel Paksoy-1 was sailing without freight from Cameroon’s port city of Douala to Abidjan when the pirates boarded the ship in the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. No injuries or loss of lives occurred according to the initial information. Our efforts continue for the safe and sound release of all our personnel,” the company had said.
It had been reported that out of the 18 people that boarded the ship, 10 were kidnapped.
The navy told our correspondent on Wednesday that the vessel had been intercepted in Ghana through the efforts of the Multi-National Maritime Centre in Benin Republic.
An authoritative source at the Nigerian Navy Headquarters, Abuja, who did not want his name in print, said, “The vessel is in Ghana now. It has been retrieved in Ghana. Investigation is ongoing and we are intensifying efforts to rescue the hijacked sailors. What happened was that after the incident, we were not informed until after 18 hours.
“The incident happened on July 13 and we were informed on July 14. By then, the vessel had left our waters. You know we have the Multi-National Maritime Centre in Benin Republic. So, we shared information with our sister navies. They came and impounded the vessel.
“So, based on that information sharing decision, the vessel was intercepted in Ghana and is at their port. We are working with the Ghanaians to unravel the circumstances under which the vessel was hijacked. We are looking at the speed of the ship and the measures taken by the ship to thwart the pirates. We are investigating any form of complicity.”
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