Filipino kidnapped by pirates off Nigeria

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Kidnap on the high seas The CGM Turquoise shown in this file photo is the same cargo ship that was attacked by pirates off the Nigerian cost on Thursday, taking with them two crew, a Filipino and an Egyptian. marinetraffic.com

Kidnap on the high seas The CGM Turquoise shown in this file photo is the same cargo ship that was attacked by pirates off the Nigerian cost on Thursday, taking with them two crew, a Filipino and an Egyptian. marinetraffic.com

MalacaÑang said on Friday the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is working to find details of a report that a Filipino was part of a two-man crew of a cargo vessel that had been kidnapped by pirates off Nigeria earlier this week.

A maritime expert has confirmed the report that the crew, a still unidentified Filipino 2nd officer and an Egyptian electrician, of the CMA CGM Turquoise, had been abducted in the latest high-seas strike in the Gulf of Guinea.

Philippine Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma quoted DFA Assistant Secretary Charles Jose as saying, “We’re trying to verify that report with our embassy.”

On Thursday (early Friday in Manila), Dirk Steffen, from the Denmark-based Risk Intelligence firm, was quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying in an email: The crew mustered in the citadel after the attackers had boarded the ship, but two crew members–the Filipino 2nd officer and the Egyptian electrician–did not make it there in time and were seized by the attackers.


The CMA CGM Turquoise, managed by Dioryx Maritime Corp. in Greece, was stormed late on Monday as it traveled between Nigeria’s commercial hub Lagos and Douala in Cameroon.

Philippine Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma quoted DFA Assistant Secretary Charles Jose as saying, “We’re trying to verify that report with our embassy.”

It was the second attack by the pirates in the area in one day, according to the AFP report.
Early Monday, pirates kidnapped six crew of a Turkish cargo ship, the M/T Puli, according to the Nigerian Navy.

“This attack, like most others off the Niger Delta, was carried out at night and carried an element of surprise,” Steffen told AFP, referring to the later attack.

The Liberian-flagged vessel, chartered by French shipping company CMA CGM, was attacked at 8:56 p.m. (1956 GMT), 28 nautical miles from the coastline of the oil-rich Niger Delta region.

Steffen, the director of maritime security at Risk Intelligence, said the target was unusual and indicated the pirates were aiming at kidnapping rather than hijacking tankers for their fuel cargo.

The Gulf of Guinea is increasingly becoming a piracy hotspot and Risk Intelligence has recorded 32 offshore attacks for Nigeria alone this year.

Steffen linked the increase to the winding down of an amnesty scheme to former Niger Delta militants, who demanded a fairer share of oil revenue through kidnapping and sabotage in the 2000s.

It also reflected a trend of a decrease in abductions and offshore piracy in the region around elections.

Nigeria held presidential and parliamentary polls last year.

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