When is a Nigerian kidnap not a kidnap?

Kidnap of MV Equinox crew a hoax – Vessel owners

The actual owners of MV EQUINOX, a vessel whose Captain and Engineer were reportedly kidnapped in Nigeria a fortnight ago, have cleared the air, stressing that neither were their workers kidnapped, nor was he celebrated rescue by some navy operatives a reality.

The owners, SAUNSCAPE INTERNATIONAL INC., in a letter signed by its Duty Officer, R. Paneer Selvam and dispatched  to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) and copied the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)specifically absolved Nigerian waters of any piracy related crimes, at least, as far as their vessel was concerned.

“We are happy to report that our vessel was never attacked by pirates and that the reports on the kidnapping of the Master and Chief Engineer are entirely misleading”, declared the owners, adding that if the navy actually rescued them, then it must have been at the hotels where they kept the duo, pending an investigation the Nigerian Police were requested to conduct on them, after repeated cargo loss!

“What really happened is that, after repeated cargo losses and suspicions of involvement of the Master (Daniel Stefan RADU, Romanian nationality) and Chief Engineer (Sergejs KUZNECOVS, Russian nationality), we decided to sign off and disembark these two persons and to report the matter to the Nigerian police.

To read the entire article, please click here.

Source: http://www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com

Maritime Security News Note:
Interestingly, the website reporting this story (which appears nowhere else) couldn’t even get the image of the ship right. Rather than use the actual Equinox, a Panama-registered chemical tanker, they plumped for the Equinox Glory, a bulk carrier currently sitting just off Singapore…

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