Pirates release kidnapped crew of fishing vessel Panofi Frontier

MARITIME SECURITY WEEK
Panofi Frontier (Photo: Silla)

The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that the five South Korean nationals and one Ghanaian national who were kidnapped by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea in an incident late last month have finally been released.

The six individuals were crewmembers on Panofi Frontier, a Ghanian-flagged purse seining vessel operated by a subsidiary of South Korean seafood company Silla.

The foreign affairs ministry said that the freed sailors were turned over by the perpetrators to Nigerian authorities on the afternoon (local time) of Friday, July 24.

The five South Koreans are now in the custody of South Korean embassy officials while the lone Ghanaian sailor has since been turned over to representatives of the Ghanaian government.

The kidnapped sailors spent approximately one month in captivity after they were abducted from their vessel some 60 nautical miles south of Cotonou, Benin, at 14:30 UTC on June 24. A total of 24 crew were left behind aboard the seiner following the attack.

The ministry added that the pirates were all Nigerian nationals but did not provide details on the group to which they belonged.

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