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Malaysia steps up efforts to find missing product tanker

Malaysia steps up efforts to find missing product tanker
Malaysia has stepped up its search for the missing Malaysian-registered product tanker Orkim Harmony, deploying more vessels and aircrafts into the mission, reports said.

Up to five aircrafts and some 13 vessels are currently involved in the operation to find the ship that went missing since the night of 11 June about 30 nm off Tanjung Sedili.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said the relevant authorities are also widening their search area to include the Malacca Strait as well as Sabah and Sarawak waters. MMEA said it remains certain that the ship did not capsize.

The product tanker was carrying around 6,000 tonnes of petrol worth MYR21m ($5.6m) belonging to Petronas.

Malaysian authorities have not heard of any ransom demands made for the 22 crew onboard Orkim Harmony, and a hijack on the vessel cannot be confirmed.

This led to speculations that “insiders” could have been a factor in the tanker’s disappearance, reports quoted Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, home minister for Kundasang, as saying.