A French-owned oil tanker, reported missing with 17 crewmembers on Sunday off the Ivory Coast, is thought to have been hijacked by pirates . The suspected pirate attack is the latest in the Gulf of Guinea region.

The Luxembourg-flagged tanker was reported missing after the owners lost contact with it. Its last known location was 70 nautical miles south of the port city of Abidjan.

The region has become a piracy hot spot, seeing an escalation in maritime crimes against naval vessels in the past few years.

“It appears pirates are moving towards the Ivory Coast because Nigeria and Benin have increased patrols in the Gulf of Guinea,” said Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau’s Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting center.

If you’ve been the victim of maritime piracy, the experienced maritime piracy attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  can help determine what your legal rights are.