On December 16, 2020, Pirates captured eight crew members, including six Ukrainian nationals / Photo from instagram.com/zelenskiy_official/

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says six Ukrainian sailors who were captured by Nigerian pirates in the Gulf of Guinea on December 16, 2020, have been released from captivity.

Read alsoPirates attack container ship off Benin, kidnap Ukrainian crewman – MFAThe Ukrainian nationals, all part of the crew of the Stevia cargo vessel, had been held captive for month and a half, the president wrote on Instagram on Saturday, January 30.

"Our citizens are safe, and we are waiting for their return home as soon as possible. Thanks to Ukrainian diplomats and all those who were involved in the release of our compatriots," he said.

Background

  • On December 16, 2020, pirates attacked the Stevia cargo vessel off the coast of Nigeria and captured eight crew members, including six Ukrainian nationals.
  • The shipowner is an Albanian company.
  • According to Seafarers Journal, there were 15 crew members on board of the Stevia vessel that was attacked in the Gulf of Guinea. Armed pirates took eight crew members hostage and fled in an unknown direction.
  • The daughter of one of the captured sailors told Seafarers Journal that her father was the chief mate of the vessel and he was definitely among the hostages.
  • She then said six Ukrainians out of eight hostages were captain, chief mate, second mate, chief engineer, electro-technical officer, and wiper. There were seven crew members left on the board.