Pirates strike off Benin


A vessel owned by Norwegian shipping firm J.J. Ugland was boarded by pirates while at anchor off the coast of Benin and nine crew members were kidnapped, the company said.

The remaining crew of the Norwegian-flagged MV Bonita notified local authorities and the vessel later docked at the port city Cotonou the company said in a statement. The dry bulker Bonita carried a cargo of gypsum, a mineral used in fertiliser, destined for Benin, Ugland said.

While piracy decreased worldwide, West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea is a high-risk area for abductions and armed robbery, the International Maritime Bureau, a unit of the International Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.