Pirates release seized oil tanker with Indian crew

Featured India - July 24th, 2013

The Indian crew members of an oil tanker hijacked by pirates off West Africa have been released, reports said.

High seas robbers left the Maltese-flagged MT Cotton Monday morning and its captain resumed command after it was seized July 15 near Port Gentil off the coast of Gabon.

It is unclear if a ransom demand was made by the pirates, reports BBC.

“The master has confirmed that all 24 Indian crew members are safe and in good condition, the vessel is now on her way to a secure port,” according to the ship’s Turkish operator, Geden Lines.

Gautam Chatterjee, India’s director-general of shipping, said crew members are in no need of urgent medical attention but “they have been looted of everything.”

Unlike waters off the coast of East Africa, where ships can move past at high speed with armed guards on board, many vessels have to anchor off the West African coastal nations, with little protection, making them vulnerable to pirates, reports Reuters.