Kidnapped Korean Sailors Traced To Niger Delta
The Chronicle can confirm that the two Korean sailors who were kidnapped aboard a Ghanaian flagged fishing vessel off the coast of Keta have been traced to the Niger Delta, Southeast of Nigeria.
Consequently, negotiations are ongoing within diplomatic circles and the kidnappers for the release of the victims.
On August 28, 2020 the two Koreans, Captain and Chief Engineer on fishing expedition with FV AP 703, owned by BSK Marine Ltd were abducted by gunmen when their fishing vessel came under attack.
In what has become a threat to maritime activities in the Gulf of Guinea by attacking and kidnapping sailors for ransom, a Liberian registered refrigerated cargo vessel, MV Water on September 8, 2020, at a location 33 Nautical Miles off the coast of Lagos in Nigeria also came under attack. There was a mixed crew of 18 comprising 7 Russians and 7 Filipinos.
Meanwhile the Ghana Navy’s intelligence has deployed to mainly the eastern coastal villages to clampdown on suspected hiding places for pirates.
The Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, Rear Admiral Seth Amoama disclosed this in a telephone conversation with this reporter on Thursday.
He opined that the recent rise in armed attacks in the Gulf of Guinea and evidence at hand have heightened the suspicion that the criminal elements are within close quarters.
Recently, according to the CNS, a fibre glass craft used by the pirates capsized and the occupants were rescued by some Ghanaian fisher folks and have gone into hiding.
The Navy Commander went on that the said capsized vessels fitted with two high speed propelled 180 Horsepower engines have been towed to the Naval Training Command, NAVTRAC, at Sogakope in the lower Volta.
Rear Admiral Amoama stated that a military collaboration between Nigeria and Cameroun navies has destabilised the pirates from the traditional comfort zone in the Niger Delta, hence attempting to seek a foothold in some coastal villages in our section of the Gulf of Guinea.
He went on that the Ghana Navy is poised for a showdown with the criminals before they pose a threat to our oilfields.
Naval and for that matter national security intelligence is concentrating on the coastal communities with the Chief Fishermen and community leaders as partners to battle the pirates, since they are expected to be living among us before embarking on their criminality at sea.
The Navy Commander further revealed that stakeholder engagements are underway to train seafarers, especially crew of fishing vessels on simple evasive manouvres at sea, upon sighting a skiff or what looks like a speedboat approaching, which might be pirates.
According to him, prior to kidnapping the two Korean nationals on the 28th of August, 2020 from FV AP 703, off the coast of Keta, an armed group attempted attack against a merchant ship but the sailors who were equipped with basic evasive manouvres skills first took the fight to the invaders thereby warding them off.
Rear Admiral Amoama concluded that the Ghana Navy has deployed quite a number of her patrol boats and also positioned duty ships to strategic locations at sea to suppress the activities of the pirates before they gain foothold.