The Polish Consulate in Abuja has said that a cargo ship carrying 16 Polish sailors has been hijacked by Nigerian pirates.
Poland’s Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, who confirmed the incident, said the cargo ship, named Szafir (Sapphire), had been sailing from the Belgian port of Antwerp to Onee, Rivers State, and it belongs to Polish company Euroafrica, based in Szczecin, North Western Poland.
The Office of the Polish Prime Minister in a tweet, said “Representatives of the Government shall inform the media about the situation in Nigeria, where the kidnapped Polish seamen.”
Speaking to reporters in Warsaw, Waszczykowski said, “The attack occurred at night. A group of unknown assailants boarded the boat. Five men were kidnapped from a 16-man crew.
“Up to now, the kidnappers have not made contact.”
He added that the 11 other crew members were “safe and sound” still aboard their ship.
Waszczykowski said that those kidnapped include the ship’s captain along with three officers and one crew member.
According to the Polish media, the other crew members locked themselves in the ship’s engine room to escape capture.