Emerald was hijacked

A Norbulk tanker missing for five days off West Africa was seized by pirates, the owner has revealed.

The UK company sparked a hunt off Togo last week after its 7,400–dwt Anuket Emerald (built 2008) ceased communication on 18 August.

After five days, however, a satellite message from the ship was received, saying all the 18 crew were safe and well.

The vessel arrived at anchorage off Cotonou, Benin, on Friday, beside West African naval forces.

Norbulk said information from the crew suggested pirates had boarded in the early hours of 19 August, taking command of the vessel and the crew, as well as communication equipment.

“The pirate attack appears to be for the purpose of cargo pilferage as the vessel and crew remain safe,” it said.

The crew consists of men from former Russian states and Filipinos.

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