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Update: Product tanker recovered from hijackers, suspects arrested

The product tanker that was hijacked while underway in Malaysian waters has been recovered from the hijackers, and the eight perpetrators have been arrested.

The 7,300-dwt Orkim Harmony is presently on its way to Kuantan in Malaysia, according to an incident report by ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC). The 22 crew onboard the ship are safe though one of them was injured.

"In the afternoon of 19 June 2015, the Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG), which is also the ReCAAP Focal Point (Vietnam), informed the ReCAAP ISC that they had arrested eight Indonesians, who are suspected to be involved in the hijacking of Orkim Harmony," ReCAAP ISC said.

The VCG also seized the boat that the suspects were in, which is reportedly the life boat of Orkim Harmony. The suspects claimed that their fishing vessel had sunk and investigation is ongoing, according to ReCAAP ISC.

The ship went missing last Thursday and was found yesterday on Cambodian waters after joint search efforts by Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.

Malaysia’s navy official Rear Admiral Azhari Abdul Rashid had said the hijackers were armed with pistols and machetes.

The pirates had repainted the ship and changed the name to Kim Harmon after they hijacked it on 11 June about 30 nm from the Johor port of Tanjung Sedili. The tanker was carrying around 6,000 tonnes of petrol worth MYR21m ($5.6m) belonging to Petronas.

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