Dutch shipping company says crew kidnapped by pirates now free


(dpa) – The crew of a Dutch tanker kidnapped by pirates in West Africa has been freed, according to the shipping company.

All 15 officers and crew members have been released after a good four weeks and are in relatively good condition, a spokesperson for the shipping company De Poli Tankers announced on Thursday in Barendrecht near Rotterdam.

The chemical tanker Davide B was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea on March 11 and 15 crew members were kidnapped.

The crew members were reportedly medically examined and are now to be flown back to their home countries in Eastern Europe and the Philippines. They had also already been in contact with their families.

The shipping company did not give any information about possible ransom payments.

Shipping company boss Chiara de Poli expressed relief: “The last few weeks have been extremely difficult for everyone, especially for our 15 seafarers and their families. We admire our crew members for their courage during this time and want to thank their families for their patience and resilience during this great uncertainty.”

The ship was en route from Riga in Latvia to Lagos in Nigeria. It was sailing about 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) off the coast of Benin at the time of the attack. Six other seafarers managed to get to safety.

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