India has sought the help of the Nigerian and Benin navies to find an oil tanker that has gone missing with 22 Indian crew members off Benin’s coast.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed late   yesterday that the tanker, marine express, went missing in the gulf of Guinea.

It’s not known whether the ship was hijacked for ransom or to steal the nearly 13 500 tonnes of gasoline on board.

The ship, owned by a Mumbai company, has been missing since January 31 with no contact with the crew so far, according to Indian media reports.

Ship hijackings and kidnappings of crew are common in the region, with hostages often released unharmed after a ransom is paid.

Bandits usually target oil tankers and sell the crude.

-Times of India