Pirates Hijack Oil Tanker Off Togo Coast, Vessel Confirmed as ENERGY CENTURION [UPDATED]

ENERGY CENTURION. Image via Enterprises Shipping and Trading

UPDATE 4: The ENERGY CENTURION has been released. Read more… 

UPDATE 3: Vessel located off coast of Nigeria still under control of pirates.

UPDATE 2: The identity of the vessel has been confirmed as the ENERGY CENTURION by Greece’s Merchant Marine Ministry.

UPDATE 1: The vessel in question has been unofficially identified as the ENERGY CENTURION, a 74,998 dwt tanker managed by Enterprises Shipping and Trading S.A.. The vessel was reportedly hijacked following a gun battle with the Togo Navy.  No word yet on the condition of the crew.  Official sources are yet to confirm the identity of the vessel.

Hijackings in the Gulf of Guinea have been on the rise in recent years.  Unlike their Somali counterparts, pirates in West Africa tend to hijack vessels in order to steal cargo rather hold hostages for ransom.

The incident is the second attack on a vessel in the region in as many weeks.  On August 21 a group of seven pirates used force to board a general cargo ship in the Gulf of Guinea, take hostage of it’s crew, and ransacked the cabins, stealing anything they could.

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP)–Pirates hijacked a Greek-owned oil tanker off Togo on Tuesday, the International Maritime Bureau said.

The Isle of Man-flagged vessel, which had 24 crew on board and was carrying gas oil, was hijacked 17 miles (27 kilometers) off the Togo capital of Lome, the bureau’s Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting center said.

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