Sept. 23 (UPI) — A group of Nigerian pirates took 12 crew members of a Swiss cargo ship hostage, the company that owns the ship said Sunday.
Massoel Shipping said its MV Glarus bulk cargo ship was attacked early Saturday while transporting wheat from Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos to Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s Vanguard reported.
“The pirate gang boarded the Glarus by means of long ladders and cut the razor wire on deck to gain access to the vessel and eventually the bridge,” the company said. “Having destroyed much of the vessel’s communications equipment, the criminal gang departed taking 12 of the 19 crew complement as hostage.”
Massoel Shipping added that “all the appropriate authorities have been notified” and specialists were called to ensure the safe release of the hostages.
Switzerland’s foreign ministry was among the authorities made aware of the attack, spokeswoman Noémie Charton told CNN.
“The Swiss Maritime Navigation Office of the [Federal Department of Foreign Affairs] in Basel is in direct contact with the shipowner,” she said.
Charton added none of the sailors on board were Swiss and their nationalities were not yet confirmed.