Nigerian Navy returns stolen oil tanker to owners

The Nigerian Navy returned the hijacked oil tanker MT Maximus to its owners on March 12, following a February 22 recovery of the ship.

The ship, owned by UAE, was attacked by armed pirates on February 11 in the Gulf of Guinea, off Abijan, Ivory Coast. There were 18 crew members on board from India, Pakistan, China, South Korea, Sudan and Ghana when the ship was hijacked.

As a response, the Nigerian Navy sent three ships, the NNS Okpabana, NNS Centenary and NNS Sagbama which caught the hijackers and retrieved the ship.

The pirates intended to sell the ship’s 4,700 tons of diesel fuel on the black market and had renamed the ship to MT Elvis 3.

MT Maximus’ delayed return was because of the investigation that is still ongoing. The return of the vessel, however, did not mean an end of the prosecution of pirates that are still under investigation, the Nigerian Tribune reported the Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft saying.