Oil tanker with at least 22 Indian crew missing off Benin's coast

File: AP
File: AP

New Delhi - India has sought the help of the Nigerian and Benin navies to find an oil tanker that has gone missing with 22 Indian crew members off Benin's coast.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed late on Sunday that the tanker, Marine Express, went missing in the Gulf of Guinea.

It's not known whether the ship was hijacked for ransom or to steal the nearly 13 500 tons of gasoline on board.

The ship, owned by a Mumbai company, has been missing since January 31 with no contact with the crew so far, according to Indian media reports.

In January, another oil tanker, MT Barret, went missing off the coast of the West African nation of Benin. That crew of 22, mostly Indians, was released within days after a ransom was paid to the pirates, the Press Trust of India news agency said. It didn't give any details.

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.

International efforts have brought down the threat of piracy off Somalia's coast in recent years. Concerns about piracy off Africa's coast have now largely shifted to the Gulf of Guinea.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you 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.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Biden is going to take it
47% - 7896 votes
It's four more years for Trump
53% - 9058 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.29
(-0.46)
ZAR/GBP
21.19
(-0.15)
ZAR/EUR
19.28
(-0.33)
ZAR/AUD
11.58
(-0.18)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.22)
Gold
1897.43
(-0.03)
Silver
24.17
(-1.03)
Platinum
884.00
(-1.28)
Brent Crude
41.25
(0.00)
Palladium
2356.22
(-0.47)
All Share
55339.58
(+0.99)
Top 40
50692.28
(+0.83)
Financial 15
10790.70
(+3.99)
Industrial 25
74905.70
(+1.05)
Resource 10
52561.57
(-0.49)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo