The ship, which sailed under the Malta flag, was on its way from Riga, the capital of Latvia, to Lagos in Nigeria. Crew members may have been detained at that last location. Coeur Riddings of the DePoly Tankers earlier told Radio Regnmund that there were no Dutchmen on the ship. The crew comes from Russia, the Philippines and the Baltic states.
Poli Tankers have no idea who is behind the hijacking. The company also doesn’t want to say if the ransom was paid and says there’s been a long talk. “It’s a difficult and delicate process,” says Radings. Also about how exactly the abduction is performed, the lips are kept together. In any case, strict security measures visible and invisible are sure to be in place for every trip the company makes. For example, there is a shelter on the ship, the so-called fortress, where the crew members initially withdrew. This did not help.
Crew members are doing well under the current conditions and will soon be able to return to their families. “Obviously there is a lot of relief and joy on everyone’s part. We only had a short chance to talk to them, but now we are going home.”
The six crew members who remained on the ship have also returned to their homes. There is a new crew on board and it is now offloading its cargo in Africa. From there they sail to another port.
The hijacking was not a reason to stop De Poli Tankers from sailing through West Africa. “The Gulf of Guinea is an important route, and it will remain that way. It is basically up to the international community to make that area safer. There are initiatives for this, but in our opinion it could be done faster.”
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