Like Clockwork, Pirates Release Greek Tanker in Gulf of Guinea

The statement did not mention if the pirates made off with any fuel or cargo.

LONDON–The Greek operator of a tanker hijacked over the weekend from the waters around the Ivory Coast said Tuesday that the vessel had been released and all crew members were safe.

Grace Management SA, the ship’s Athens-based managing company, said it had received word from the ship’s master that the pirates had released the tanker earlier Tuesday.

The Bahamas-flagged “Orfeas” tanker disappeared from its anchorage off Abidjan along with its 24 crew members and cargo of over 32,000 metric tons of gasoline in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The waters of the Gulf of Guinea near the Ivory Coast have become increasingly dangerous in the past year, with piracy attacks becoming more frequent.

By Sarah Kent. (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.