Hijacked tanker MARINE EXPRESS released, what next?
Product tanker MARINE EXPRESS, which was missing since Feb 1, presumably hijack by pirates, was released on Feb 6, confirmed it was hijack. According to operator Anglo-Eastern Shipping Company, HK, all 22 crew are safe, cargo of 13,500 tons of gasoline intact.
No other details provided, not clear why and on what conditions pirates released tanker. Most probably, ransom was paid to pirates for vessel’s release, but it is known also, that India officially asked Nigeria and Benin assistance in tanker’s search. There’s a probability therefore, that tanker was spotted and approached by coastal navies, and pirates fled, fearing the consequences. But again, Nigeria and Benin didn’t make any official statement, which they’d surely make be the release credited to their efforts. Everything is shroud in mystery and secrets, so characteristic of GoG piracy. Let’s wait and see – if such short-termed (in comparison with Somalia hijacks) hijacks will become habitual, that will mean that pirates, somehow, found ways to “convince” owners to pay ransom, in a matter of days. And those will be really bad news for GoG shipping.
February 6, 2018
Hijack news: https://www.fleetmon.com/maritime-news/2018/21367/another-tanker-hijack-new-twist-gog-piracy/