A vessel owned by Norwegian shipping firm J.J. Ugland was boarded by pirates while at anchor off the coast of Benin on Saturday, and nine crew members were kidnapped, the company said in a statement on Sunday.

The remaining crew on the MV Bonita notified local authorities, and the vessel docked at the port city of Cotonou later on Saturday, the company said.

“The Ugland Emergency Response Team are handling this situation as per contingency plans, and they are in contact with relevant authorities. … The families of the crew members have been contacted and will be kept informed by Ugland,” it said in a statement.

“Further updates will be given as and when new confirmed information is available and releasable.” (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Alison Williams and Peter Cooney)

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