22, August 2019
The pirates, who kidnapped eight sailors from a cargo vessel off the coast of Cameroon last week, contacted the ship owner, according to a source from the Russian Embassy in Cameroon on Wednesday.
Three Russian nationals are being held hostage and a ransom for their release is being negotiated on, a source in the embassy said in an interview with Russian state-run news agencies TASS and RIA.
The talks can last for up to two weeks and the amount of ransom will not be revealed for the captives’ security, the source said.
The health condition of the Russian captives is “satisfactory,” according to the source, and an agreement was reached to supply them with medicines against malaria.
“The pirates, based on our information, are Nigerians. Presumably, the sailors were taken to Nigeria. An emergency response group is negotiating the release of sailors,” the source said.
Nigerian police spokesman Frank Mba said there was no information yet about three Russian sailors abducted off the Cameroonian coasts last Friday.
“We will act immediately once we have any information on the incident or their whereabouts,” Mba told Anadolu Agency.
Earlier, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said its diplomats are working with Cameroonian officials to accelerate the process of the release of the Russian citizens.
The vessel, which belongs to German company MarConsult Schiffahrt, was attacked near Port Douala, eight sailors were kidnapped, one Ukrainian, three Russians and four Filipinos. The vessel itself was not seized.
*Abu ‘Adnan contributed to this story from Lagos, Nigeria