Switzerland opens investigation into Nigerian pirate kidnappings

Basel’s public prosecutor has opened an investigation into the hi-jacking of Switzerland-registered MV Glarus off the coast of Nigeria on September 22nd. Twelve crew, none of them Swiss, were kidnapped and negotiations for their release were ongoing, SonntagsBlick reported on Sunday.

The hostages include seven Filipinos, a Croatian, a Bosnian, a Slovenian, a Ukrainian, and a Romanian. Massoel Shipping said that the crew members were doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances.

The attackers were apparently from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), although most, if not all, piracy in the region in the past year has been financially rather than politically motivated. Ransoms were also being demanded in this case.

Glarus was attacked while on route from Lagos to Port Harcourt with a cargo of cereal. It was boarded by the pirates some 45nm southwest of Bonny Island.