Pirates free Russian tanker crew

A group of pirates hijacked an oil tanker with a Russian crew in the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa on Tuesday.

Updated: Aug 31, 2012, 11:42 AM IST

Moscow: A group of pirates who hijacked an oil tanker with a Russian crew in the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa left the vessel after pumping out 3,000 tonnes of petrol, said the crewing company on Thursday.

"The crew is unharmed, no problem. They`re figuring out what`s damaged and what`s to repair now," said Oleg Kravchenko, the head of the Alpha Marine Crew Services.

The tanker was captured on Tuesday, 30 km off the coast of Togo`s capital Lome.

A border patrol vessel received an SOS signal and tried to fight the pirates, but they managed to get away with the ship in the ensuing shootout.

The ship, owned by the Athens-based Enterprises Shipping and Trading, is captained by a Greek, but the other 23 crew members are Russians.

IANS