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Pirates Released Russian-Crewed Tanker

Pirates Released Russian-Crewed Tanker 31.08.2012
Text: Vzglyad
Photo: yugopolis.ru
Pirates released an oil tanker with Russian sailors captured on Aug 27 in the Gulf of Guinea, none of crewmembers suffered, reported Oleg Kravchenko, director of Alpha Marine Crew Services crewing company.

"The crew is free. Pirates left the ship", he told RIA Novosti.

According to Kravchenko, pirates pumped out 3,000 tons of diesel fuel and escaped.

"The crew is well, no problem. Now they're trying to find out what was damaged and what needs repair", Kravchenko said.

Russian foreign ministry also confirmed that the tanker Energy Centurion hijacked in the Gulf of Guinea with 23 Russian citizens on board was finally set free, sailors are safe.

"As for incoming information, pirates who captured oil tanker Energy Centurion on Aug 27 off Togo, left the ship in the afternoon Aug 30 having pumped out part of oil products prior to that. None of crewmembers was hurt. The tanker will continue the voyage soon", said the Russian foreign ministry's press service.

"To settle the problem in a fastest and safest way, foreign ministry's officers maintained close contacts with authorities of some African and other states throughout all captivity period", said the spokesman.

The tanker was earlier found off Nigeria. Russian foreign ministry then stated there were 23 Russians on board the captured ship, but their lives were out of danger.

Recall that the incident happened on Monday, approximately 30 km away from Lome, capital city of Togo. It was the second similar attack occurred in the Gulf of Guinea in the recent two weeks. The ship-owning company reported then about 24 Russians kidnapped.

In total, six vessels have been captured off West Africa this year, reports International Maritime Bureau. Pirates held each of them for about 10 days while the cargo was transshipped to another vessel.

It is noteworthy that Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Viktor Chirkov said two months ago that pirates had become more active in the Gulf of Guinea. That region is gradually turning into the second Somalia, said the admiral.

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