Crew of Chinese boat freed after ransom payment: Nigerian army

The Nigerian army was reported to have said that $300,000 was paid to kidnappers to release 14 crew members on board a vessel that was seized in February.

The Nigerian army freed 14 crew from a Chinese fishing boat from their pirate kidnappers on Saturday March 6th, after a month in captivity.

Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Yahaya told AFP that a ransom of $300,000 was paid before the crew were freed.

Although the Chinese fishing boat was not named in the report, the known facts connect it to the Lian Peng Yu 809.

The vessel was seized using high-speed boats off the Gabonese port of Port-Gentil on February 7th and the crew – six Chinese nationals, three Indonesians, a Gabon national and four Nigerians – kidnapped.

The boat, with the crew still on board, was spotted some 110km (68 miles) from the Nigerian island of Bonny a few days after the attack.

Maritime security consultants Dryad Global said the hijacked Chinese boat was used as a mothership for attacks on oil tankers.

As such, this was an act of piracy dissimilar to most recent attacks. The crew were not taken to land and the vessel was not abandoned by the pirates.