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9 Filipinos working on board Norwegian cargo ship kidnapped in Benin

9 Filipinos working on board Norwegian cargo ship kidnapped in Benin
Nine Filipino crew members were kidnapped from a cargo ship owned by Norwegian shipping company J.J. Ugland, Norwegian media reported on Sunday, Nov. 3.

The nine people were taken off the bulk vessel while it was waiting to be unloaded off coast in Benin, according to a statement released by Ugland.

While the company did not mention the nationalities of the hostages, Norwegian online newspaper E24 quoted a source of Norwegian Shipowners’ Association as saying that they were all Filipinos.

Nine crew members were taken hostage from the bulk carrier MV Bonita in the early morning hours of November 2 off Cotonou, Benin, according to the Norwegian shipowner J.J. Ugland.

The anchored vessel was boarded by pirates while it was waiting for berth to discharge inbound cargo of gypsum, a mineral commonly used as fertiliser, destined for Benin.

The remaining crew notified local authorities and Norway-flagged MV Bonita docked at the port city of Cotonou later the same day, the company said in a statement.

J.J. Ugland noted that its Emergency Response Team “are handling this situation as per contingency plans, and they are in contact with relevant authorities.

“The families of the crewmembers have been contacted and will be kept informed by Ugland,” the company added.

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