For about past two days Indian oil tanker ship has been missing off West African coast carrying 13,500 tons of petrol which is valued to be worth about $8.1 million. Fears of hijacking are not being overruled at initial stage as off the African coast another vessel was hijacked last month.
The last contact made with the Panama-registered vessel with its company was at 5.30pm on Thursday. Authorities have been alerted and needful is being done.
Last month another vessel named MT Barret went missing off the coast of Benin for six days. It was carrying mostly Indians and the crew was released after ransom was paid.
Safety of the crew on the 180-m long ship is first priority, said Anglo Eastern Ship Management.
Marine Traffic records reveal the last status of the ship was Cotonou and according to chief surveyor B R Shekar, who holds additional charge as director general of shipping, Mumbai, contact with the tanker was lost on February 1 when it was in Cotonou.
He added, “India has sought the help of the navies of Nigeria and Benin to track down the missing vessel”.
Reports of hijacking of ships in the location have been regular and this is the second disappearance in last two months.