Tanker KERALA hijacking is on investigation
In cooperation with the vessel owner of KERALA, Liberia continues investigations on the pirate attack against the tanker in Angolan waters on January 18. (Read our previous news on the KERALA incident)
An INTERPOL-led multinational incident Response Team now takes part in the research on board of the vessel. The Liberian authorities, together with the INTERPOL-Team and Ghanaian authorities had full access to the KERALA, its documents and crew and could perform the examination carefully.
Even though the investigation of the case is still ongoing, the evidences collected so far indicate that the tanker was indeed hijacked by pirates. Initial comments from the Angolan navy claimed the attack to be faked.
The pirates deactivated the AIS onboard of the vessel, so the tanker could not be tracked during the attack, painted over the vessel's identifying features and could steal approximately 12.271,5 mt of cargo.
KERALA reestablished communication with its owner on January 26, 2014 and moved to the port of Tema, Ghana. There the crew members were immediately provided with medical help. As reported, one crew member was wounded, other were beaten by pirates.