Malaysia: Eleven crew from the tugboat Asta, hijacked in the South China Sea two weeks ago, have been found, but the chief engineer remains missing. The Asta went missing on February 6 in the South China Sea while towing an empty barge from Singapore to Cambodia. On February 17 the Royal Malaysian Navy rescued 11 of the 12 crew from a liferaft spotted off East Malaysia, according to a report from ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre. The chief engineer remains missing. The crew said eight pirates armed with rifles and parangs on February 6 had boarded the Asta. The crew were blindfolded and locked in cabins before being set adrift in a life raft on February 10. The Asta is still missing although empty barge has been recovered after being spotted by passing merchant ships. [19/02/10]
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