Greek tanker missing in Gulf of Guinea amid piracy fears

The fate of a Greek oil tanker that disappeared in the Gulf of Guinea last week remained unclear on Monday as the firm that owns the vessel said it had lost contact with it amid fears of an attack by pirates.

The Liberia-flagged MT Fair Artemis last communicated with its managing firm Fairdeal Group last Wednesday while off the coast of Ghana, West Africa, according to reports.

The captain of the 24-member crew is Greek, as is the first mate, while four of the crew are Sri Lankan with one Ghanan national and 17 Filipinos.

An official at the port in Tema, east of Ghana’s capital, told Reuters on Monday that the ship’s captain had sent out a distress call, saying the tanker was “hijacked and looted in Togolese waters” last Wednesday.

The waters off the Gulf of Guinea are among the world’s most perilous for seafarers, according to the International Maritime Bureau, which said 19 percent of all piracy incidents globally occurred there in 2013.