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Pirates release Indian sailors, oil tanker hijacked off Benin’s coast

On February 1, Anglo-Eastern of Hong Kong said that the Marine Express tanker was “the subject of a pirate attack and seizure in the Gulf of Guinea.”

Days after pirates hijacked a Ship, which went missing off Benin’s coast in West Africa with 22 Indians on board last week, the vessel’s management company on Tuesday said that the crew of the missing oil tanker has regained control of the ship.

The Hong Kong based firm – which appointed the Indian sailors on the ship hijacked by pirates on February 1 – has now confirmed that the crew and the ship were released after a ransom was paid.

On February 1, Anglo-Eastern of Hong Kong said, over a post on social media, that the Marine Express Tanker was “the subject of a pirate attack and seizure in the Gulf of Guinea.” However, asserting that the captain and the crew took back control on early Tuesday, the company confirmed that all 22 Indian crew members were safe and also its cargo of 13,500 metric tons of gasoline remained on board.

Over a post on Twitter, Anglo-Eastern said, “We are delighted to report that the MT Marine Express, which was hijacked by pirates on Feb 1, is now back under the command of the captain & crew since ~04:00 SG time today. All crew members are reported to be safe & well & the cargo intact. We thank you all for your well wishes.”

Also asserting that the crew members has been released safely by the pirates, Director General of Shipping Malini Shankar said, “The ship, ‘Marine Express’, has been released and is back under the command of the captain.”

Earlier on Sunday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that the government was making all efforts to trace the merchant ship which went missing with Indian sailors on board. The foreign ministry also stated that it was in touch with the Indian mission in Nigeria and concerned authorities to constantly monitor the situation.

With the Gulf of Guinea being an increasing target for pirates who steal cargo and demand ransom, a report by the International Maritime Bureau, released in January, mentioned that the ships in the area were the target of a series of piracy-related incidents last year.

The post Pirates release Indian sailors, Oil Tanker Hijacked off Benin’s coast appeared first on APN Live.



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