The Master, officers and crew of the product tanker Energy Centurion are unharmed but remain under the control of the pirate group that hijacked the vessel on Tuesday, according to operators Golden Energy Management.
The firm, which is the commercial company of Enterprises Shipping & Trading, part of Restis Group, issued a statement today, saying that the 24 crew were in good health but that the vessel was sailing off the coast of Nigeria under the control of pirates who intended to steal the vessel’s cargo.
“The owning company is in continuous communication with the relevant authorities as well as the families of the crew for the smooth handling of this unfortunate incident and will keep all parties updated as necessary,” Golden Energy said.
International Maritime Bureau director Pottengal Mukundan said: “These attacks are aimed at the theft of the cargo and, going by past incidents, we would expect that the vessel and crew would be freed within seven-10 days after part of the cargo has been stolen.”
The 2008-built, 74,995 dwt Energy Centurion was hijacked off Lomé, Togo, in the early hours of Tuesday morning in the second piracy-related incident in the country’s waters in 10 days.
The IMB said that so far this year there had been 39 attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, with seven vessels hijacked.
On August 19, pirates seized oil products tanker Anuket Emerald in the same area. It was released off the coast of Delta State, Nigeria, on August 23. Its crew, comprising 18 Russian and Philippines nationals, were unharmed.