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Indonesian chemical tanker missing after pirate hijack

Indonesian chemical tanker missing after pirate hijack
An Indonesian-flagged chemical tanker Rehobot is missing after hijacked by pirates, but all the crew are safe.

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre quoted an alert from the Information Fusion Centre in Singapore that the vessel was boarded by pirates near Lembeh Island, North Sulawesi in Indonesia, at 2330hrs local time on 28 January.

The eight masked pirates armed with long knives boarded the vessel from a small wooden motorboat and took over the Rehobot. The tanker was carrying a cargo of 1,100 tonnes of diesel.

The crew 14 Indonesian crew of the vessel were found adrift in the tanker’s liferafts near to Lembeh Island on 31 January.

As of 1 February the vessel remained missing.

It is the second small tanker to hijacked in Southeast Asia waters in the less than a week following the foiled hijacking of the Malaysian-registered chemical tanker Sun Birdie in Malaysian waters on 28 January.

There was a sharp rise in the number of hijackings of small tankers in Southeast Asian waters in 2014, with the hijackers siphoning off the cargo. THe hijackings are believed to involved organised criminal syndicates often with inside knowledge on vessel movements and cargo.