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Russian Prosecutors Opened Case against Togolese Pirates

Russian Prosecutors Opened Case against Togolese Pirates 19.09.2012
Text: Vzglyad
Photo: maritime-connector.com
Russia's southern transport procuracy took under control investigation of the criminal case initiated after pirating of the Greek-operated tanker Energy Centurion in Togolese waters with Russian crew onboard and stealing of 3,000 tons of diesel fuel, said the procuracy spokesman.

"The criminal case was initiated in accordance with Article 227/2 (piracy) of Russian Criminal Code", the spokesman told Interfax.

Initiation of the criminal case was found legal and reasonable. "It was investigated that on Aug 28 ten unknown persons with firearms attacked the seagoing vessel, oil tanker Energy Centurion anchored 19 miles away from Lome, Togolese Republic", said the official.

He specified that the crew consisted of 24 men including 23 Russian citizens, residents of Krasnodar and Rostov regions.

According to investigators, the captured ship moved to Nigerian waters with crewmen and the cargo, 50 000 tons of diesel fuel. "Pirates forcedly put the crewmembers together in a cabin inflicting bodily harm on two of them and openly took personal things of the sailors", said the interviewee.

Within two days, pirates pumped out 3,000 tons of diesel fuel to unidentified vessel and left the tanker on small-size motorboats on Aug 31 when noticed an approaching French naval ship.

The seagoing tanker operated by Greek company Golden Energy Management is registered in Douglas, UK, added the official.

Process and results of the investigation are taken under control of southern transport procuracy.

The attack upon the tanker occurred on Aug 28 at sea 30 km off Togolese capital Lome. It was the second piracy incident in the Gulf of Guinea through the recent two weeks. The ship-owning company reported that all 24 crewmembers of the captured tanker were Russians.

On Aug 30, pirates released the ship and the Russian crew. One sailor suffered in the capture was brought to a Ghanaian hospital.

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