Pirates contacted the Boden Hamburg office for ransom, naming the crew while providing evidence that all are in good health.

The MV Mozart container ship is seen near Durban, South Africa, September 16, 2020.
The MV Mozart container ship is seen near Durban, South Africa, September 16, 2020. (Reuters)

Pirates who kidnapped 15 sailors from a Turkish-crewed container ship in the Gulf of Guinea have made their first contact with the shipping company's Hamburg office to discuss a ransom.

All remaining crew members of Liberian-flagged ship, Mozart, which remains anchored at Port-Gentil, Gabon, are together, in good health and uninjured, according to the ship's Turkish technical operating company on Thursday.

"Boden Shipping communicated with the crew members of the container ship Mozart, which was hijacked off Sao Tome on January 23, 2021," said a statement by Boden.

The company said it will "continue to make every effort to ensure the fastest release" of the crew who are their "first and only priorities" and "continue to be in constant communication with the families of the abducted sailors."

No additional comments were made on the subject by Boden to protect the safety and health of the crew and their families.

Pirate attack

In a pirate attack on Saturday, 15 of the cargo ship's 19 crew members were abducted, while one, an Azerbaijani national, was killed.

Following the attack, Mozart anchored at the nearby Port-Gentil on Sunday, but with only three of its surviving crew members on board.

The three Turkish crew members in Gabon are in good condition, said Turkey's Embassy in the capital Libreville.

Turkey is doing everything it can to get back the 15 kidnapped sailors — all Turkish nationals — though the pirates have not made any contact with officials, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.

READ MORE: Turkish ship anchors at Gabon port after deadly pirate attack

Source: TRTWorld and agencies