Nigerian pirates follow Somalian example

Pirates have attacked a motor boat in a Nigerian port. Nine members of an alleged Russo-Ukrainian crew have been seriously wounded.

The news dated November 30 was reported by Mikhail Voytenko, self-exiled editor-in-chief of the Russian maritime bulletin Sovfrakht on Tuesday.

It took the pirates some two hours to rob the boat, taking the crew’s personal belongings including the captain’s safe. In the meantime, the pirates repeatedly beat them up and destroyed all the radio equipment onboard following an unsuccessful attempt by the crewmembers to contact the Nigerian authorities.

However in a surprising update, Russian ambassador in Nigeria Aleksey Polyakov told Interfax news agency that the assault on the Silvretta vessel, belonging to a Swiss company, was carried out on October 30, instead of November 30.

Also according to Polyakov, he contacted the Swiss company representatives, who have denied having Russian citizens in the crew, which consisted mainly of Ukrainians.

Observers are becoming increasingly worried over the surge of Nigerian piracy. Pirates from the oil-rich West African country have been attacking ships in the waters of neighboring Cameroon, Benin and Ghana.

However, unlike Somali pirates, their Nigerian colleagues have no intention of taking hostages. All they want is to rob the ships. And often being drug intoxicated, Nigerian pirates have interest in neither the crewmember’s wellbeing, nor even in their survival.

Ransom increased

Meanwhile in the Indian Ocean Somalian pirates have increased their ransom demands for a Thai ship carrying 27 sailors – mostly Russian.

Officials say this is a setback as talks will have to start from the beginning.

The crew are reported to be in good health despite entering their second month in captivity.