Official documents seen by AFP Sunday August 18th revealed that most of the sailors kidnapped off the Cameroon coast last week were Filipinos, not Chinese as first reported.
On Friday, August 16th, an official in the port of Douala told AFP that 17 crew had been abducted, including "nine Chinese civilian sailors" from one of the two ships attacked, along with Ukrainians, according to AFP.
The attacks took place on Thursday August 15th in Cameroonian waters off Douala, located at the apex of the Gulf of Guinea, which has become a hotspot of seaborne crime.
The port document said instead that nine hostages, all Filipinos, were seized from a Greek-owned ship while eight (three Russians, four Filipinos and a Ukrainian) were taken from a German-owned vessel.
Noel Choong, head of the information service of the International Maritime Bureau based in Kuala Lumpur, confirmed the figures, but said he could not be sure of the nationalities on the second ship.
"The IMB has issued a warning to all ships at Douala. We ask all ships to take additional precautions," Choong said Friday, August 16th.
Recently, the seas off West Africa have become a hotspot for pirate attacks, as well as oil theft, illegal fishing and human and drug trafficking.