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Hijacked Tanker Released Following Cargo Theft

January 23, 2013 - 01:56:42 UTC

Gunmen Release Hijacked Tanker After Siphoning $5 Million in Cargo

Source: Maritime Executive

Gunmen, who hijacked a fuel-laden tanker off Ivory Coast, have released the vessel today after stealing about $5 million of the ship’s cargo.

MT Itri hijacked off Abidjan Photo: Shipspotting.com

MT ITRI Released Photo: Shipspotting.com

Fortunately none of the 16 crewmembers aboard the Panama-flagged ITRI were injured in the attack. According to the tanker’s owner, Nigeria-based Brila Energy, the crew was locked in a dining room while the ‘pirates’ siphoned off the oil.

The assailants also managed to escape after releasing ITRI. It was not immediately clear as to where the ship was released, but it is now anchored in Lagos, Nigeria.

According to Fox News, Ivory Coast officials said the ship initially had trouble docking because a sand storm had reduced visibility. Later, the ship's captain radioed the port manager to report difficulty maneuvering. Shortly afterward, contact was lost with the vessel until Koda Maritime informed port officials that armed men had taken control of the tanker.

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said the attack was the farthest ever from Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea, possibly changing the scope of piracy in the region.

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