Risk firm: Pirates board Chinese-run ship in Gulf of Guinea

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) – Pirates boarded a Chinese-run oil tanker in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, a risk management company operating in the area told The Associated Press on Tuesday. It was the second such incident in a little more than two weeks.

Pirates got on the ship, Success 9, approximately 300 nautical miles southwest of Ivory Coast’s capital on Monday, according to Martin Kelly, a senior analyst with the London-based EOS Risk Group.

It’s unclear how many crew members were on the tanker or how many pirates boarded the vessel.

“Whilst the details remain obscure, there are two possible plausible explanations,” Kelly said. “The first is that this incident could be a (kidnap and ransom) incident. … The second is that this could be cargo theft.”

The Gulf of Guinea is the world’s most dangerous spot for attacks on ships. In June, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution strongly condemning piracy, armed robbery and hostage-taking in the area.

On March 25, pirates boarded a Danish-owned oil tanker with 16 crew members southwest of Port Pointe-Noire, Congo, which is also in the Gulf of Guinea. French naval forces have since located that vessel and escorted it to Togo’s capital, Lome.

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