Suspected Nigerian pirate arrested upon arrival at Schiphol

ForestWave ship FWN Rapide
ForestWave ship FWN RapidePhoto: ForestWave

South Africa extradited a Nigerian man suspected of abducting the crew of a Dutch cargo ship and holding them hostage for over a month. Itoruboemi Benson Lobia was immediately arrested when he arrived at Schipol Airport at round 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, NOS reports.

Eleven crew members fo the FWN Rapide of Groningen shipping company ForestWave were abducted off the coast of port Harcourt in April 2018. They were held hostage by Nigerian pirates for around a month before being released. The ship sails under the Dutch flag, but according to the shipowner, there were no Dutch among the crew when they were abducted.

The Dutch Public Prosecution service previously issued an international arrest warrant against Lobia. He was arrested at O.R. Thambo International Airport in Johannesburg in November. The man is suspected of piracy, using violence aboard a ship, hijacking a vessel, and extortion.

According to the Public Prosecutor, it is rare that suspected pirates are extradited to the Netherlands.