Saturday, October 15, 2011

Owner: 20 sailors on tanker seized off Nigeria

Business Week (AP)
12 October 2011

Twenty Eastern European sailors have been captured by pirates who seized an oil tanker off the coast of Nigeria, the vessel's owner said Wednesday.

The MT Cape Bird, hijacked about 90 nautical miles from Lagos on Saturday night, is still drifting there with the sailors and pirates onboard, said a spokesman for the United Product Tankers GmbH & Co. KG in Hamburg, Germany.

The spokesman could not comment on whether or not contact had been established with the vessel and did not know the nationalities of the sailors. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with company policy.

The Nigerian Navy has said it received reports that the vessel was carrying either crude oil or refined gasoline. The United Product Tankers spokesman said the cargo was an oil product, but that he did not think it was crude.

Nigerian Navy vessels have orders to stop the tanker if they find it and to arrest the hijackers.

Analysts expect the ship and its crew to be released within the next few days.

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