French Tanker ‘Hijacked’ by Pirates off Ivory Coast
From France 24
A French-owned Luxembourg-flagged tanker with 17 crew members that went missing off Ivory Coast at the weekend is believed to have been hijacked by Nigerian pirates, the International Maritime Bureau said on Monday.
Attacks on ships are on the rise in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, which is second only to the waters around Somalia for piracy. The hijacking, if confirmed, would be the second vessel seizure off Ivory Coast in less than three weeks.
“The owner lost contact on (February) 3rd. We believe it was hijacked with 17 crew on board,” said Noel Choong, head of the IMB’s piracy reports division based in Malaysia.
“The situation in the Gulf of Guinea is quite bad right now. There have been three attacks there in the past five days,” he said, adding that the other incidents had occurred off the coast of Nigeria.
Choong said the IMB could not share further details regarding the ships ownership or the nationalities of the crew as the incident was still ongoing.
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