Missing Liberian Oil tanker found off Nigeria coast

The Liberian oil tanker which reportedly went missing off the coast of Ghana and was suspected to be under a piracy attack, has been found off the coast of Nigeria.

The oil tanker MT Fair Artemis was reported missing last Saturday after the captain sent a distress call, saying the vessel was attacked by pirates.

The ship last made contact with its manager, Fairdeal Group S.A., at 6 p.m. (1800 GMT) last week Wednesday when it was operating off the coast of Ghana, the company said. The ship failed to make contact the next day.

Personnel from the Ghana Navy are directing the Liberian shipping vessel which is expected at the Tema port Friday.

Head of Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces, Colonel Eric Aggrey Quarshie told Joy News the vessel was located 10 nautical miles off Lagos and is heading towards Ghana.

“They [Ghana Navy] went to meet them at Aflao yesterday [Thursday]…it is when they get here then we will be able to know what exactly transpired,” Col. Aggrey Quarshie said.

West African piracy has its roots in an uprising in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta that has given rise to criminal networks. Gangs target cargo, which is often fuel, and rob or kidnap crew members.

The gangs threaten oil security in the Gulf of Guinea beyond Nigeria including Ghana and Ivory Coast, where offshore discoveries have sparked interest from international oil firms and prompted efforts to turn the zone into an oil and gas hub.

There are signs the pirates are growing more daring as they attacked a tanker in January off the coast of Angola and sailed it to the Nigerian coast in what was the most southerly attack on record.

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