Switzerland and Nigeria square off over detained vessel

The San Padre Pio

Swiss product tanker, the San Padre Pio, currently detained in Nigeria, was attacked by armed pirates in the West African state’s waters, the International Maritime Bureau has confirmed.

The tanker was approached by four pirates on a speedboat in the Bonny River’s inner anchorage.

The same vessel was seized last January by Nigerian authorities following allegations of illegal entry and diesel trade during a routine shipment.

During the most recent incident involving the ship, two pirates managed to board the vessel before opening fire.

However, they fled as Nigerian naval guards returned fire, leaving one guard injured.

Meanwhile, Switzerland has taken legal action against Nigeria for the vessel’s earlier detention in 2018.

And currently, of the original 16 Ukrainian crew, four are still on the vessel.

“Living and working conditions are far from being comfortable for the remaining crew,” the Swiss foreign embassy has said.

Nigeria’s detention of the vessel has since led to an application with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. It was made following failed attempts by Swiss officials to free the vessel and its remaining crew.


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