Sushma Swaraj announces release of missing oil tanker with 22 Indians aboard

Sushma Swaraj announces release of missing oil tanker with 22 Indians aboard

The company informed that the hijacked ship is now back under the command of captain & crew.

It was not immediately clear if any ransom was paid to secure the release of the vessel and the cargo.

Patrick Adamson, founder chairman of MTI Network in the United Kingdom, when asked if the vessel had been released, said, "We are still awaiting contact, we don't know yet".

In a sea area which is suspected of being prone to pirate attacks, a Panama-registered MT Marine Express, carrying nearly 13,500 tonnes of petrol, had gone missing.

The Marine Express tanker is missing close to the area in which an oil product tanker was hijacked last month.

In a Facebook post, Anglo Eastern, the ship manning agent, the company that was acting as an employment agency for seafarers on board the ship, said the vessel was the subject of a "pirate attack and seizure".

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The Indian government has also confirmed that it is working with its contacts in Nigeria and Benin to find out what happened to the ship. "Hon'ble Foreign Minister of Nigeria has promised all help and assistance in locating the missing ship", Swaraj tweeted late Monday night. All the communication systems on the vessel were switched off by pirates before making it sail.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs is in touch authorities in Nigeria and other African countries and has sought help in locating it.

The Indian mission in Abuja is in touch with authorities in Nigeria and Benin about a ship carrying 22 Indians believed to have gone missing in the Gulf of Guinea.

Concerns about piracy off Africa's coasts have largely shifted to the Gulf of Guinea following global efforts in recent years to reduce the threat of off Somalia's coast.

According to a report by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) from January, 180 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported globally last year-the lowest number since 1995.

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