Abuja: A Greek oil tanker hijacked by pirates near Togolese capital, Lome, has been sited off Nigerian coast with its 24 Russian sailors on board, the owners of the ship said on Wednesday.
According to the operators of the vessel, Golden Energy Management based in Athens, the pirates are yet to release the ship.
The vessel - Energy Centurion - was taken hostage 27 kilometres off Lome where it anchored and a shootout ensued between the pirates and Togolese navy before it vanished into the sea.
Oil thieves operating within the Nigeria`s oil-rich Niger Delta region became the major suspects when the ship was hijacked as they are very notorious for their operations in the Gulf of Guinea.
Golden Energy Management claims to be in contact with some "relevant authorities with firm belief that the pirates would not harm the sailors but might steal the ship."
Oil thieves in the Gulf of Guineas hardly harm hostages but often steal the oil content of the ships before letting it go.