Six Fishermen Kidnapped Off Port of Cotonou

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[Brief] Five South Korean nationals and one Ghanaian were kidnapped from a fishing vessel off the port of Cotonou, Benin, according to officials in South Korea. 

The vessel – identified as the Panofi Frontier – was attacked and boarded Thursday afternoon at a position about 60 nm to the south of Cotonou. According to the IMB, the pirates departed in the direction of Nigerian territorial seas. The whereabouts of the abductees are not currently known, but South Korea’s foreign ministry says that it is working to secure their safe return.

24 other crewmembers were left on board and were not harmed, IMB reported. 

According to maritime security consultancy Dryad Global, it was the seventh reported incident off Cotonou so far this year (including suspicious approaches). It represents an increase in activity relative to last year, and Dryad assesses that the perpetrators of the most serious incidents likely come from Nigeria. 

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