Malaysian authorities have come down hard on the hijacking gang took a Thai-flagged tanker earlier this month.

The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) are setting up a security corridor Gulf of Aden and Bab Al Mandeb in response to recent attacks in the region.

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.

Maritime piracy and armed robbery against ships have dipped to the lowest number in five years, according to the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report, though the decline has been marred by the more serious incidents of vessel hijacking.

The hijack-and-siphon trick seems to be making a resurgence in Southeast Asian waters with reports of a group of armed pirates attacking a Thai product tanker and making off with 1.5m litres of diesel last Friday.

Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines have finally launched joint sea patrols in the troubled Sulu Sea region as part of efforts to enhance regional security amid increasing threats of terrorism and transnational crime, local media reported.

A rising incidence of maritime crime with 48 criminal incidents reported in just the first quarter “poses real danger to the maritime industry,” warns UK-based maritime security security specialist MAST (Maritime Asset Security & Training).

Piracy attacks reported to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) increased in the first quarter of 2017 as Somali hijackings made an unwelcome return after a five-year absence.

Somali pirates have hijacked an Indian-registered cargoship Al Kausar off the coast of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland. 

Somali Pirates have released the hijacked bunker tanker Aris 13 four days after the ship was taken.

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