Thai crewman abducted in Nigeria freed

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BANGKOK, Aug 24 – Thailand’s Foreign Minister announced that a Thai crewman who was kidnapped by pirates off the Nigerian coast early this month has been freed and will return to Thailand in a few days.

Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said the Thai embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, confirmed that the Thai crewman kidnapped by pirates who hijacked his ship off the Nigerian coast was released. He has received a medical checkup.

The minister said the Thai, one among four kidnapped crewmen from Dutch-based STG housing barge Jascon 33 which was attacked by gunmen in the Gulf of Guinea, 60km off the Nigerian coast on Aug 4.

Twenty seven people were reportedly on the barge, including seven expatriate workers. Sea Truck Group, an oil and gas contractor which provides support vessels to oil companies operating in Nigeria, confirmed that four nationals from Thailand, Indonesia, Iran, and Malaysia on its staff were kidnapped, two security guards were wounded and two Nigerian sailors were killed.

The Associated Press quoted a company spokesperson as saying that the four men were in good health when officials recovered them Wednesday night from the Niger Delta region.

She said the men received medical checkups after their release and were safe. The company informed their families and the local consulates.