The Greek-owned oil tanker MT KERALA was intercepted by the Nigerian Navy after being hijacked off the coast of Luanda in the Gulf of Guinea. The ship was gone for 4 days, the company owner lost communication with the crew members for days. The Nigerian Navy confirmed the information for the encounter with the merchant vessel MT KERALA in a statement signed by Commodore Kabir Aliyu, Director of Naval Information.
Nigeria used remote surveillance system and search patrols by ships to stop the Greek owned oil tanker MT KERALA. In a statement it became clear that the vessel is at the moment under Ghanaian custody in the Port of Tema. Interpol experts are investigating how and why the ship was attacked by pirates. According to the statement on January 23, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) was informed for a suspected pirate attack over MT KERALA off Luanda in Angola. IMB informed on January 25 that MT KERALA has been located about 50 nautical miles South West of Pennington Oil Terminal in Nigeria.
3 vessels had been sent to search for the hijacked tanker. It is curious to note that 2 vessels, MT ITRI and the tug boat GARE were spotted near the location of the missing ship MT KERALA, conducting ship-to-ship transfer of products with KERALA in serious violation of existing regulations in Nigeria. Nigerian Navy has managed to track MT ITRI to the Lagos Area and detained. The operation revealed the good cooperation between Ghana and Nigeria.