Country Risk

Likely hijacking of two tankers in quick succession in Beninese waters indicates increase in crew kidnap risk

05 February 2018


The ship owners and India’s Ministry of External Affairs confirmed on 4 February that an oil tanker last seen at anchorage off the Beninese port of Cotonou had been reported missing.

The Panama-registered MT Marine Express carried 22 Indian crew and 13,500 tonnes of gasoline (petrol). A spokesperson for Hong Kong-based Anglo-Eastern, which manages the tanker, said it was last seen in the early hours of 1 February, after which contact had been lost. A search has since been under way, with the assistance of authorities from Benin’s neighbour Nigeria. The incident appears almost a repeat of the hijacking three weeks earlier of the Marshall Islands-flagged MT Barrett , which lost communications at Cotonou anchorage on 10 January.

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