Benin authorities have opened an investigation after pirates abducted nine people from a Norwegian-flagged boat off the coast of the West African nation, the port of Cotonou said.
The pirates boarded the vessel, which is owned by Norwegian shipping firm J.J. Ugland, while it was at anchor on Saturday off the coast. All those on board were Filipinos, the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association said, according to Reuters.
After the attack, the Norwegian-flagged MV Bonita docked in Cotonou and police started interviewing the remaining crew on board, the port said on its official Facebook page late on Sunday.
“At this moment, the investigation is continuing,” the statement said. “In the meantime, surveillance has been further strengthened.” [nL8N27J0SU]
J.J. Ugland said in a statement on Monday that the captain of the vessel was among the nine crew abducted, adding: “We are continuously working on the situation, and are doing our utmost to bring the nine crewmembers to safety.”