ACCRA, June 12 An oil tanker missing for a week
off the coast of West Africa was attacked by pirates who stole
its cargo, the company that managed the ship said on Thursday
after speaking with its captain.
The Liberia-flagged MT Fair Artemis had last made contact
with its manager, Fairdeal Group SA, on June 4 when it was off
the coast of Ghana.
"The ship was boarded by a number of pirates who have stolen
the cargo and other items on the vessel," Fairdeal fleet
director John Gray said in a statement, adding that all on board
were safe. The statement gave no further details.
Pirate attacks jumped by a third off the coast of West
Africa last year, pushing up insurance costs for shipping firms
operating in a key commodities export hub.
West African piracy has its roots in an uprising in
Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta that has given rise to criminal
networks. Gangs target cargo, which is often fuel, and rob or
kidnap crew members.
(Reporting by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Kevin Liffey)