Oil tanker with 22 Indian crew feared hijacked off Africa

Hindustani78

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Posted at: Feb 3, 2018, 6:22 PM; last updated: Feb 3, 2018, 6:22 PM (IST)

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/na...n-crew-feared-hijacked-off-africa/538174.html

The ship was last traced to the port of Coutonou in Benin where it was anchored on January 31.


Shiv Kumar

Tribune News Service

Mumbai, February 3

An oil tanker carrying a cargo of petrol with 22 Indian crew members may have been hijacked off the West African country of Benin, according to the shipping company.

According to information put out by Hong Kong-based Anglo-Eastern Ship Management, which owns the MT Marine Express, the ship was last traced to the port of Coutonou in Benin where it was anchored on January 31.

The tanker was carrying 13,500 tonnes of petrol worth $8.1 million, according to information available from Anglo-Eastern Ship Management.

“Authorities have been alerted and are responding …. our top priority is the safety of the crew whose families have been contacted,” the statement added.

According to trade publication Maritime Executive, the Panama-registered MT Marine Express was the second ship to have been lost over the last few days. Pirates had last month hijacked another tanker MT Barrett. However, all the crew members were let go after six days when its owner, Union Maritime apparently paid a ransom to the pirates, according to the trade sources.

Information available from Anglo Eastern Ship Management, which has an office in Mumbai, the crew of the MT Marine Express comprise entirely of Indians.

Officials from the company said the Director General of Shipping in New Delhi has sought information from officials in Nigeria and Benin to locate the MT Express.

So far it is not clear where the vessel has been taken, relatives of the crew members have been told by the company officials.
 

Flame Thrower

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This is sad, but if this is true; then I am sure that NTRO might be looking for the trace of ship, while elite sea predators (MARCOs) are ready and waiting for the info. It's only a matter of time before the hunt begins.
 

Anikastha

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I don't understand a simple concept. Why don't these shiping company hire few gun men for on board safety. Few shot in air is enough to scare away those pirates.
 

Arihant

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I don't understand a simple concept. Why don't these shiping company hire few gun men for on board safety. Few shot in air is enough to scare away those pirates.
They are not allowed. Firearms are not allowed.
 

armyofhind

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I don't understand a simple concept. Why don't these shiping company hire few gun men for on board safety. Few shot in air is enough to scare away those pirates.
Security teams are kept for ships transiting through the gulf of aden but nigerian waters are a different ballgame. Nigerian government does allow security teams on ships but very selectively (bribing involved) and otherwise companies try to save on the associated costs.
 

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