4 crew members Freed by Pirates

By Piracy

Pirates have released the 4 kidnapped crew members from a container vessel off the West African nation of Equatorial Guinea in April.
Piracy in the area of Gulf of Guinea that includes the biggest oil producer in Africa, Nigeria, is pushing up costs for shipping companies operating there. Many professionals believe the area's pirate gangs grew out of insurgent groups involved in oil theft in Nigeria's restless Delta region.
Pirates raided the Liberia flagged container vessel Hansa Marburg, on 22nd of April, 2013.
"The 4 kidnapped seamen, by armed men 130 nautical miles southwest of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, and held hostage, have now been freed," Hamburg-based shipping firm Leonhardt and Blumberg reported in a press release.
According to the information 2 of the kidnapped crew members were Ukrainians, 1 was Russian and the 4th one was from the Pacific island nation Kiribati. They were all in good health conditions, but gave no additional details of their release to "avoid encouraging further criminal acts of this kind."
The Gulf of Guinea is an important source of oil, cocoa and metals for world markets. International navies have not launched counter-piracy missions in the Gulf of Guinea, unlike in Somalia, where piracy was once rampant and has been largely brought under control.
A lot of ships are forced to anchor off regional ports with little protection, making them soft targets for criminals.