Pirates Kidnap Hungarian, 5 Others off Nigerian Coast

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By Dipo Olowookere

A citizen of Hungary has been kidnapped by some pirates off the coast of Nigeria on Saturday, the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has confirmed.

A statement issued on Wednesday in Budapest quoted the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Péter Szijjártó, as saying that, “The local and German authorities have confirmed that a Hungarian citizen was among the six crew members kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Nigeria on Saturday.”

During a press conference held on another topic, the Minister said there is no information as yet with relation to the fact that the kidnappers have issued any demands, and that for this reason he does not wish to comment on whether the Hungarian Government would be willing to pay a ransom.

But Mr Szijjártó told reporters that “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is working on a solution to the matter using all possible consular and diplomatic means and in cooperation with the Counter Terrorism Centre (TEK).”

In a statement, the TEK informed the press that its crisis centre had swung into operation and had already contacted partner organisations.

British news agency Reuters reported on Tuesday that six crewmembers of a German container ship had been kidnapped off the coast of Nigeria.

The German owner, Mr Peter Doehle Schiffarhrts KG, issued a statement explaining that pirates had attacked the ship on Saturday as it was approaching one of Nigeria’s ports and taken six members of the crew with them. They are being held by kidnappers in Nigeria.

The spokesperson for the shipping company simply stated that the kidnapped crewmembers included no German citizens, but according to information from the authorities of the countries involved, Reuters has stated that the kidnapped persons include four Philippine citizens, a Ukrainian and a Hungarian citizen.

There is no contact with the kidnappers as yet. The ship and its remaining 12 crewmembers have since left the vicinity of Nigeria, the spokesperson said.

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