The Ministry of foreign Affairs of Russia reported that the coast of Benin on 29 November captured the ship, on Board of which, presumably, are the Russians. The authorities of the West African state have not yet confirmed the fact of capture. The Russian Embassy in Benin trying to clarify the situation.

On the capture of the vessel with 18 Russians from the coast of the African continent, reported by the official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova. “According to reports, November 29, presumably, was captured a Greek ship under the Panamanian flag with 18 Russians and two citizens of Ukraine on Board. It was previously at anchor in the territorial waters of Benin”, – said the diplomat (quoted by RIA “Novosti”).

According to Zakharova, “clarifying the situation involved the Russian Embassy in Benin, which supports all the necessary contacts with the authorities of this state and other competent Russian authorities”, reports “Interfax”. While the Benin side has not yet confirmed the fact of an armed seizure of a vessel by pirates or sea robbers, said the representative of the Russian foreign Ministry.

Information about the alleged seizure of the vessel on 29 November appeared earlier, said Zakharov. The diplomat said that the Russian foreign Ministry will continue to monitor the situation and keep it under control.

Zakharov also noted that only in 2015 there were over 50 attacks on vessels in the Gulf of Guinea, during which people suffered. In 2016, this negative trend continued. “In this regard, the Russian foreign Ministry strongly recommends that Russian sailors in employment to take into account the area of the Gulf of Guinea risks”, – said the representative of the guardian.

Meanwhile, the journalist Mikhail Voitenko published detailed data about the captured ship on the portal Maritime Bulletin. According to him, the prisoner was the refrigerator under the Panamanian flag Saronic Breeze, which is operated by a Greek company Baltmed Refeer Services Ltd.

How did you find Voitenko, November 27, the ship activated the alarm button, after which contact with him was lost. A day later the refrigerator was spotted drifting a few tens of miles from the scene of the attack. “And finally, on 29 November, as it became known today, on November 30, the pirates left the ship in the waters off Nigeria, taking three hostages from the crew, most likely, the senior commanders,” said the journalist.

Voitenko said that now begins “the trade for the hostages will pay the shipowner”. “Usually it’s two to three weeks, rarely more. In all known cases of seizure of seamen-hostages Nigerian pirates they were bought and released alive and healthy”, – said the journalist.

While on the website Marine Traffic, which monitors the movement of marine vessels, as last recorded by the companions of the place of stay of the vessel with the details that led Voitenko, listed the Gulf of Guinea.

In may 2016, the American organization Oceans Beyond Piracy released a report in which he said that the Gulf of Guinea has become the most dangerous place in the world for navigators because of the increased activity of pirates. The experts found that the sea robbers with the falling prices of oil were less likely to attack oil tankers and switched to kidnapping.

In 2015, the Somali pirates were not captured by any commercial vessel, while from the beginning of 2016 at the Western coast of Africa were kidnapped 44 the Navigator. While globally, the level of piracy decreases.

In January 2016, the pirates in Nigeria have seized the ship Leon Dias, owned by the Greek company. On Board the tanker was one Russian. When the military authorities have released the ship, the citizen of the Russian Federation was not there – the pirates took him and the other hostages with him. Later all crew members of the bulk-oil tanker has been rescued from captivity.

The Russian foreign Ministry reported captured off the coast of Benin, the vessel with Russians onboard 30.11.2016

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