The owner of MT Fair Artemis lost contact with the vessel on June 4 off Accra (the capital of Ghana). Noel Choong, head of IMB's Piracy Reporting Centre (based in Kuala Lumpur), confirmed the fate of the vessel was unknown. Fair Artemis was transporting gas oil and is believed hijacked by pirates.
"It's an area where pirates hijack vessels, mostly for the cargo. It's an area of concern," added Choong.
All vessels of the centre have been urged to be on the lookout for the MT Fair Artemis.
An anonymous Tema port's official said:
"We had a distress call from the master of the ship yesterday (June 6) saying he was 36 nautical miles away from our waters after he was hijacked and looted in Togolese waters early Wednesday."
According to IMB, 19 per cent of the pirate attacks for 2013 (51 in total) were in West Africa, nearly 60 % of which were conducted by Nigerian pirates (31).
The territorial waters of Ghana have been patrolled by the country's navy. Last year, there was only one incident in the area. The West African coast is being patrolled by international navies too.
MT Fair Artemis (IMO number 9464156 and MMSI 636013763) is managed by Fairdeal Group S.A. The DWT 12,807-ton vessel was built in 2009 and is registered in Liberia.