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Crew onboard Ghanaian vessel freed by pirates

Image: Jan Van der Pluijm/Vesseltracker

Five crew members aboard Atlantic Princess who were abducted by pirates on May 19, in a fishing vessel near Ghana’s Tema Habour have been released.

They were freed after 40 days in captivity.

It follows successful negotiation and payment of an undisclosed amount of money.

All crew members are reported to be safe and in good health.

Ghana’s High Commission in Nigeria is currently facilitating processes for the successful repatriation of the crew to Ghana.

According to Commander Benning, a representative of the ECOWAS Multinational Maritime Coordination Centre, Zone F, the crew are expected to arrive in Ghana on July 6. However, the five crew members kidnapped onboard FV IRIS S on May 31, this year, are still in the custody of the pirates.

They have so far spent 30 days in captivity and are also expected to be released in the coming days.

With the release of the ATLANTIC PRINCESS crew and leaving five in pirate custody, authorities say, the pirates are likely to carry out more operations in the coming days to kidnap new crew for ransom.

Intelligence available already points to this fact where a suspected pirate action group set sail to sea on Sunday June 27, this year to attack vessels. Coastal law enforcement agencies as well as international partners are encouraged to increase surveillance and patrols within the Gulf of Guinea to deter pirate attacks or enable quick response in the event of a pirate attack.

All vessels transiting the Gulf of Guinea are advised to be extra vigilant, maintain sharp lookout especially at night, observe anti-piracy measures and report suspicious activities to the necessary authorities.

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