Ship freed from pirates off Africa coast, company says

PHOTO: The merchant vessel Marine Express, in this undated photo, was hijacked by pirates in Feb. 2018, according to the company that manages the oil tanker.Jurij S/MarineTraffic.com, FILE
The merchant vessel Marine Express, in this undated photo, was hijacked by pirates in Feb. 2018, according to the company that manages the oil tanker.

The crew of an oil tanker that had been hijacked by pirates has regained control of the ship, Anglo-Eastern, a ship management company, said today.

Pirates hijacked the merchant vessel Marine Express, which was carrying about 14,900 tons of gas, last Thursday.

"All crew members are reported to be safe and well and the cargo intact," Anglo-Eastern said.

Contact was lost with the tanker on Thursday when it was in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of Benin in west Africa, the company said Friday. The company said, “A full investigation will take place into the hijack of the vessel.”

It is not clear if a ransom was paid.

PHOTO: The merchant vessel Marine Express, in this undated photo, was hijacked by pirates in Feb. 2018, according to the company that manages the oil tanker. Jurij S/MarineTraffic.com, FILE
The merchant vessel Marine Express, in this undated photo, was hijacked by pirates in Feb. 2018, according to the company that manages the oil tanker.

The Indian foreign minister, whose government had been working with authorities in the region, thanked the governments of Nigeria and Benin in a tweet.

There is a persistent threat of hijacking in the Gulf of Guinea, the International Maritime Bureau said in a report last month.

ABC News' Ben Gittleson contributed reporting from New York.