Pirates have hijacked a chemical tanker off the coast of Nigeria from a site that was previously considered safe.
The ship, which has not yet been identified, was snatched around 90 nautical miles from Lagos.
Sources say the Marshal Islands-flag tanker, which has a crew of 20, was waiting for orders when the bandit gang boarded and took control.
The vessel, said to be of around 40,000 dwt, has since been spotted in the region with a black skiff on the deck.
Unlike off Somalia, West African pirates generally do not hold ships and crew to ransom.
The incident comes at a time when piracy in the region is growing.