Pirates have released the Turkish crew of a ship they hijacked off the coast of Nigeria last month. The attack on the container ship Mozart in the Gulf of Guinea left one person dead, a man from Azerbaijan. The Turks are doing well, according to the Turkish government in Ankara.
The pirates left the ship with the fifteen hostages. They left three crew members on board. The Mozart, sailing under a Liberian flag, was on its way from the Nigerian city of Lagos to Cape Town in South Africa. The pirates demanded a ransom. It is not known whether this was paid.
Gulf of Guinea new piracy hotspot
In 2020, almost 200 pirate attacks were recorded worldwide, over thirty more than in 2019. The Gulf of Guinea is now considered the piracy hotspot. In 2020, the Gulf of Guinea even recorded its highest ever number of crew kidnapped, according to the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
Globally, 135 crew were kidnapped from their vessels in 2020, with the Gulf of Guinea accounting for over 95 per cent of crew numbers kidnapped. Incidents in the Gulf of Guinea are particularly dangerous as over eighty per cent of attackers were armed with guns, said the IMB.