News World Indian oil tanker’s crew retakes ship from pirates off Benin’s coast

Indian oil tanker’s crew retakes ship from pirates off Benin’s coast

Marien Express
The oil tanker's crew have retaken control of the vessel from pirates off Benin. Photo: Jurij S/MarineTraffic.com
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The crew of a missing Indian oil tanker has regained control of the ship from pirates who had hijacked it off Benin’s coast.

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

The ship lost contact until its captain and crew took back control on Monday night, the company said.

All 22 Indian crew members were safe and its cargo of 15,120 tonnes of petrol remained on board.

“A complete investigation will be carried out into the hijacking,” the company said.

It praised the crew and their families “for their courage and fortitude in dealing with this difficult situation,” but provided few other details.

The Indian government confirmed on Sunday that the ship, owned by a Mumbai company, was missing and it had sought help from the Benin and Nigerian navy to find it.

Ship hijackings and kidnappings of crew are common in the region, with hostages often released unharmed after a ransom is paid. Bandits usually target oil tankers and sell the crude.

-AAP