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23 RFs and one Greek aboard tanker captured by pirates off coast of Togo

August 29, 2012, 17:16 UTC+3

The captain said "there is no threat to the crew’s life"

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MOSCOW, August 29 (Itar-Tass) — There are 23 Russian citizens and one Greek aboard an oil tanker captured by Somali pirates off the coast of Togo: the Russian Embassy is trying to resolve the situation, the Foreign Ministry reported on Wednesday.

“The Russian Embassy in Benin and Togo reported that boats of the Togolese coast guard pursued the oil tanker seized by pirates. But they failed to catch it. By entering Benin’s territorial waters Energy Centurion escaped Benin Navy patrol boats and left for Nigeria. According to the Russian Embassy in Abuja, there is no tanker in the Nigerian territorial waters. Reports say the tanker is in international waters far from Nigeria,” the ministry said.

“A representative of the Greek ship holder said there were 23 Russian citizens and one Greek (the captain) aboard the tanker. The ship holder succeeded in contacting the captain just after pirates had seized the tanker. The captain said ‘there is no threat to the crew’s life’,” the ministry said.

“Our British partners say hostages have not been taken. The tanker was seized with intent to rob [there are 50,000 tonnes of diesel fuel and petroleum aboard the tanker],” the ministry said.

“The Russian embassies and local competent officials maintain contacts to take all possible measures to ensure security of Russian citizens aboard the tanker,” the ministry said.

For more information, please call Alpha Marine Crew Services in Novorossiisk at +7-918-390-11-98 (Kovshov Igor Mikhailovich).

On August 28, the Energy Centurion oil tanker registered in the isle of Man (Britain) was seized by pirates in the territorial waters of Togo.

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