Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Pirates hijack Nigerian ship, 16 crew-members in Cote d’ Ivoire
The vessel, with 16 Nigerian crew-members on board was seized as it was preparing to deposit the fuel at the port, according to a statement from the Ivory Coast’s government.
Port officials said the tanker’s last known position was off the coast of neighbouring Ghana, but Ghanaian authorities said they had been unable to locate the ITRI.
The ship initially had trouble docking because a sand storm reduced visibility, an Ivorien government statement said. Later, the ship’s captain radioed the port manager to report difficulty manoeuvring. Shortly afterwards, contact was lost with the vessel. Then ship consignee Koda Maritime informed port officials that armed men had taken control of the tanker.
Most hijackings in the region occur near oil-rich Nigeria, but analysts say co-ordinated efforts by authorities and neighbouring countries have forced Nigerian pirates to seek easier targets outside their home waters.