No Lankans among crew kidnapped by pirates

No Lankans among crew kidnapped by pirates

April 30, 2013   10:14 am

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There were no Sri Lankan nationals among the crew kidnapped by pirates from an Antiguan ship off Nigeria as reported by foreign media yesterday, the local agent for the shipping company said.

Certain foreign media reports had stated that three Sri Lankans were among the five crew members kidnapped by pirates from the Antigua and Barbuda-flagged MV City of Xiamen container ship, which was attacked late on April 25 off the coast of oil-producing Bayelsa state.

The crew were mostly Sri Lankans but included one member from Russia and another from Myanmar, Reuters said quoting a piracy watchdog and a security source.

However, the manager of the local agent of the German shipping company, under which the ship is registered, said that there are no Sri Lankans among the kidnapped crew.

He stated that 14 Sri Lankan nationals had served in the ship and that however they are unharmed.  

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) had said 14 heavily armed pirates attacked the container ship, breached its citadel - a strong room designed to protect the crew from attack. The pirates took five crew captive before escaping with cash taken from the ship and the crew, the IMB said in a piracy report.

Pirates in a speed boat off Nigeria chased and fired upon another container ship on April 24 but the vessel increased speed and escaped, the IMB said.

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