3 S. Korean sailors presumed to have been kidnapped off Ghana: foreign ministry

SEOUL, Three South Korean sailors are presumed to have been kidnapped in seas off Ghana, Seoul's foreign ministry said Saturday, with a South Korean anti-piracy warship being dispatched to the nearby area.

According to the ministry, a 500-ton fishing boat named the Marine 711 with over 40 crew members aboard, including the three South Koreans, is believed to have been hijacked by unidentified pirates on Monday.

While moving into Nigerian waters, the pirates transferred some of the sailors, including the South Korean sailors, to a speedboat on Tuesday, with their whereabouts still unknown.

The hijacked ship, registered in Ghana, arrived at the Port Of Tema on the eastern coast of Ghana on Wednesday, and some 40 Ghanaian sailors were released there, the ministry said.

The ministry added that it is closely cooperating with Ghana, Nigeria and other nations to find out the whereabouts of those kidnapped.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the ship was seized by Nigerian pirates, and Munmu the Great, a South Korean warship which has been operating in waters off Oman's Port of Salalah, is scheduled to arrive in the nearby sea on April 16.

The ministry said the pirates have not yet demanded a ransom in return for the release of the abducted sailors.

According to the ministry, the pirates failed to seize two Greek ships before hijacking the Marine 711, but they have succeeded in capturing and detaining two foreigners from those Greek ships, both of whom were aboard the speedboat as well.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has ordered all-out efforts to secure the South Koreans' release, the ministry added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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