News:Asia

Pirates hijack Thai tanker off Malaysian west coast

A vessel and its crew were freed hours after a pirate hijack of a Thai-tanker off the west coast of Malaysia on Wednesday evening.

The Thai-flagged tanker MGT 1 was underway from Rayong when it was attacked by pirates 54 nm west of Kuala Dungan in Malaysia at 2100 hrs on 6 September.

According to the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre 13 armed pirates boarded the tanker from two speedboats and forced the crew 1m litres of diesel oil of its 2.2m litre cargo onto a mother vessel.

The crew were able to raise the alarm and the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) dispatched two ships and a helicopter rescuing the tanker and its crew at 0400 hrs on 7 September. Ten of the pirates were captured and the search for the remaining three is ongoing.

“The rapid apprehension of the perpetrators and successful rescue of the crew and vessel within hours from reporting is a testament to the effectiveness of timely reporting by the ship and effective enforcement by the relevant authorities,” said Masafumi Kuroki executive director of ReCAAP.

The MGT 1 is the second tanker attacked for its cargo in the region this year. Pirate attacks on small tankers to steal oil cargoes was a serious problem in 2015 in Southeast Asian waters when 15 vessels were attacked.

Posted 07 September 2017

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Marcus Hand

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News

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