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A Singapore-registered oil tanker was boarded by “unidentified persons” about 300 nautical miles (555 km) off Ivory Coast in the Gulf of Guinea, the city-state’s port authority said.
The Gulf of Guinea has become a hotspot for global piracy in recent years, although incidents have dwindled since 2021 as national authorities stepped up security efforts, helped by foreign naval ships, the United Nations says.
The tanker Success 9 had 20 crew of various nationalities aboard, one of whom was Singaporean, when it “was boarded by unidentified persons” on Monday, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said.
In a statement on Tuesday, April 11, the port authority said it was working closely with the ship owner, Monrovian maritime rescue officials and the city-state’s Changi command and control centre to monitor the situation and provide assistance.
It gave no further details of the incident, such as the nationalities of the rest of the crew.
Hai Soon Group, a Singapore-registered company that owns the tanker, declined immediate comment, saying it awaited further updates.
The tanker has been operating in the West African zone for the past 60 days, Refinitiv ship-tracking data showed.
Its last shipping fixture record showed it was carrying diesel, according to Vortexa data.
A patrol boat sent out to rescue the tanker had been unable to locate it as its beacon had been turned off, an Ivorian security source involved in the matter said.
“We think it’s an act of piracy because the modus operandi is the same,” the source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters, adding, “We have sought external help from Spain and from Europe.”
Pirates hijacked a Danish-owned ship off the Republic of Congo last month and kidnapped some of the crew before abandoning the vessel. – Rappler.com