Pirates Hijack Tankship in Gulf of Guinea

A maritime security alert has been issued after pirates hijacked a Greek-owned and Isle of Man flagged oil tanker.

A Togolese patrol boat exchanged gunfire with the hostage-takers before they escaped with the vessel, which had 24 crew members on board. It is unclear if any casualties were incurred during the stand-off.

Most hijackings in the region involve a detention period of between 4-8 days. Pirates are more likely to steal cargo and crew belongings before abandoning a vessel rather than negotiating the payment of a ransom for its release.

Vessel operators are advised to continue exercising caution in the area, particularly onboard vessels at anchor. Organisations should also note that many attacks go unreported in the Gulf of Guinea and official statistics do not necessarily reflect the realities of the maritime security environment in the region.

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