Togo pirates release hijacked ship

Athens - Pirates in Togo have released a tanker with 24 Russian crew on board after siphoning off part of the gas oil cargo, a spokesperson for the ship's Greek company said on Thursday.

"The ship has been released and the crew are safe," said the representative on behalf of Athens-based Golden Energy Management.

"It is now en route to a safe destination," he added.

The pirates hijacked the Energy Centurion on Tuesday after exchanging fire with security forces, the International Maritime Bureau said.

The company said it believed over 3 000 tons of fuel had been removed.

"They did not ask for ransom, booty is what they were after. They also took the crew's valuables," said the company representative, who declined to be identified.

The Isle of Man-flagged vessel was seized 27km off the coast of the Togolese capital Lome, where it had reportedly been anchored, said Noel Choong, head of the IMB's piracy reporting centre.

The hijackers exchanged fire with a Togo navy patrol boat that answered a distress call but managed to elude the patrol by steaming off aboard the tanker, Choong said.

The Malaysia-based IMB has repeatedly warned ships plying the Gulf of Guinea to be vigilant and called on authorities to step up patrols, last year saying the region was emerging as a new piracy "hot spot".

The area has seen at least 36 attacks, including several hijackings, kidnappings and killings, so far this year.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 2472 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
52% - 12639 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
34% - 8155 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 810 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.87
-1.3%
Rand - Pound
20.14
-0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.03
-0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.68
-1.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.6%
Gold
1,759.58
-0.1%
Silver
19.57
-1.2%
Palladium
2,160.71
+0.8%
Platinum
915.51
-1.5%
Brent Crude
93.65
+1.4%
Top 40
64,184
+0.0%
All Share
71,011
+0.1%
Resource 10
63,890
+1.0%
Industrial 25
86,864
-0.7%
Financial 15
16,201
+0.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE