A hijacked Singaporean oil tanker carrying 21 sailors was released yesterday, in waters off Nigeria, a week after being seized by pirates in waters off Ghana in West Africa, Seoul’s foreign ministry said.
The 3,200-tons tanker, carrying a South Korean captain and chief engineer, was hijacked on July 26 off the southern coast of Ghana, the ministry added.
The vessel, which had loaded in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, was also carrying 12 Chinese, one Singaporean and six Burmese, it said.
Piracy off the western coast of Africa has been rising in recent years, with attackers targeting ships playing a key role in the region’s thriving oil industry.
The International Maritime Bureau said West African piracy made up 19 per cent of attacks worldwide last year, with Nigerian pirates accounting for 31 of the region’s 51 attacks.