Business & Economy

Singapore-flagged tanker and crew ‘safe’ after hijacking off West Africa

Singapore, Apr 16 (EFE).- A Singapore-flagged oil tanker uncontactable since it was boarded by pirates off the Ivory Coast last week has been found with its crew safe, the city-state’s authorities said Sunday.

The Success 9, a tanker carrying chemicals and oil, was located on Saturday off the coast of Abidjan by another vessel that had picked up a distress call from the ship and immediately reported its location, according to a statement released Sunday by the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore.

An Ivory Coast navy patrol boat was deployed to the area to confirm and board the vessel.

“All crew, including the Singaporean crew, were safe and in good health. The ship has since safely arrived at Abidjan port,” the MPA statement added.

South Korea’s foreign ministry said authorities on Saturday night were able to contact its one citizen on board, and that the pirates had fled after stealing cargo and the crew’s belongings, Yonhap news agency reported.

The Success 9 was boarded by “unidentified persons at about 300 nautical miles off the Abidjan Coast, Cote d’lvoire on 10 April 2023 at about 10 pm (Singapore time),” MPA said Tuesday, and the vessel had not been contactable since.

Her disappearance, alerted by the Singapore authorities, triggered a coordinated sea and air search operation between the Ivory Coast and neighboring countries, with the participation of the French Navy.

In 2020, 135 crew were kidnapped from their vessels globally, with the Gulf of Guinea accounting for over 95 percent of these.

Last year the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported that the number of pirate attacks had decreased in the Gulf of Guinea, originating from the Niger Delta in southern Nigeria, where oil reserves have made the country the number one producer of “black gold” on the continent.

The objective of pirates is usually to steal the crude oil transported by tankers to sell it on the black market. EFE


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