Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Greek oil tanker released by pirates off coast of Togo

A Greek-owned oil tanker has been released after being seized by pirates off the coast of Togo in West Africa, according to the Manx Ship Registry.

The registry said the tanker, Energy Centurion, was reported to be back under the control of its master and crew at 15:00 BST on 30 August.

The vessel was seized on Tuesday after attackers exchanged fire with a Togolese patrol boat.

An Isle of Man registry spokesman said all members of the crew were unharmed.

He added: "The pirates stole approximately 3,100 tonnes of gas oil from the tanker's cargo as well as cash, valuables and items of equipment from the ship.

"Personal effects and cash were also stolen from the crew."

Piracy is said to be increasing in West Africa, with six ships seized in 2012.

Deputy Director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry David Morter said: "We are relieved that the vessel has now been released and that the crew are physically unharmed, although they will have been through a great deal during their ordeal and our thoughts go out to them and their families."

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