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Last updateMar, 27 Jan 2015 5pm

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'Lost' oil-ladden ship returns to Angola

Angolan authorities have got back the oil tanker, MT Kerala, operating under a Liberian flag, after it disappeared on 18 January, 2014, with 60,000 tons of gasoil from the Angolan Oil giants, Sonangol, PANA reported Thursday from the Angolan capital.

The ship that disappeared while it waiting for authorisation to berth in Luanda, returned to Angola with 78% of the 60,000 tons of gasoil it was carrying, according to Francisco de Lemos, chairman of the board of administration of Sonangol.

He said the tanker was hijacked by pirates who abandoned it after taking part of the gasoil.

But, the Angolan Marine has said that Lemos' claim was false. He accused the ship's crew of willfully cutting off their communication system.

The Angolan marine believes there was collaboration between the crew and the ship's agent, indicating that a tug had approached MT Kerala off Luanda and then “both sailed towards Nigeria'.

Owners of the tanker, Dynacom Tankers Management, maintained that 'pirates had hijacked  the vessel off the Angolan coast and robbed it of its gasoil'.

It said the pirates abandoned the vessel and its 27-member crew from India and Philippines, after robbing part of its gasoil cargo.

Pana 28/02/2014