Russian sailors released from the pirates flew from Nigeria to Russia

08 September 2020

Seven Russian sailors released from the pirates flew from Nigeria to Russia, a representative of the Russian Embassy in Nigeria told TASS on Tuesday.

"The sailors left Nigeria on September 7, and they are now on their way," he said. "They're fine."

Seven Russian citizens were abducted on July 17 from the Curacao Trader in the open sea 210 miles off the coast of Benin. As the company Alison Management, which managed the attacked ship, announced on July 18, the pirates captured 13 crew members, consisting of 19 citizens of Russia and Ukraine. Alison Management said that "everything possible will be done" to secure the release of the kidnapped crew members, who were most likely captured by armed groups from southern Nigeria.

Dryad Global, a portal specializing in Maritime security, noted that eight armed individuals boarded the ship. According to him, never before have hostage-taking in the Gulf of Guinea been carried out at such a remote distance from the coast. The attacked vessel, which is capable of carrying liquid chemicals, was under the flag of Liberia from the port of Lome (Togo).

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on August 26 that "on August 24, as a result of joint efforts of diplomats from the Russian Embassy in Abuja, Nigerian officials and a representative of the shipowner, seven Russian sailors who were kidnapped from the Curacao Trader on July 17 during a robbery in the Gulf of Guinea were released."

After their release, the Russian sailors were placed in a hotel in Port Harcourt in southern Nigeria. They passed a medical examination, including tests for the coronavirus. Their physical condition was satisfactory. The sailors received all the necessary assistance from the Russian Embassy and were waiting to return home. Nigeria opened its air borders to international flights on September 5 as part of steps to ease measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic, and two days later the Russians flew home.


GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Creative Commons