Success 9

A Singapore-registered oil tanker has been boarded by “unidentified persons” about 300 nautical miles (550 kilometres) off Africa’s Ivory Coast, officials say.

Twenty crew members of various nationalities were on the Success 9 when it was boarded Monday in the Gulf of Guinea, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

The MPA said late Tuesday it was working closely with the ship’s owner as well as the Monrovia Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre and the Changi Command and Control Centre’s Information Fusion Centre “to monitor the situation and render the necessary assistance.”

No further details were provided.

Pirates have long been a risk in the Gulf of Guinea – a major shipping route stretching 5,700 kilometres (3,500 miles) from Senegal to Angola, with Nigerian gangs carrying out most attacks.

But since 2021, shippers say pirates have been raiding further out in international waters.

Their violence and sophisticated tactics prompted pleas from shippers for a more robust foreign naval presence like the mission to curb attacks by Somali pirates a decade ago.

“It appears serious attacks are increasing in the Gulf of Guinea. We hope more international warships with helicopter facilities will be able to patrol the area,” Noel Choong of the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting centre told AFP Wednesday.

In March, pirates seized a Danish oil tanker off Congo and kidnapped six crew members before abandoning the ship.

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