The Bulgarian captain of a Portuguese-flagged container vessel, who was kidnapped along with seven other sailors by pirates near Benin, has been released, Bulgaria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva announced on May 25.
As per Bulgarian National Radio, He (The Captain) is expected to return to Bulgaria soon. On April 19, pirates attacked the container ship “Tommi Ritscher” off the coast near the city of Cotonou, West Africa. There were no other Bulgarians among the 19-member crew of the ship. Eleven people managed to escape using a special room provided for shelter (Citadel) in case of pirate attacks, but eight others, including the Bulgarian, were taken hostage by the kidnappers.
The ministry said it has been in close coordination with the ship’s owners but did not give other details. It’s unclear whether the other seven sailors have been released.
On Apr 23, 2020 the Nigerian Navy and the Benin Navy conducted a joint rescue operation.
Nigerian Navy and Benin Navy recently collaborated to rescue a Portuguese flagged container ship, MV TOMMI RITSCHER which was attacked by pirates. pic.twitter.com/Myn6YlFjFl
— Nigerian Navy (@NigNavyToday) April 23, 2020