Pirates attack tanker in the Malacca Straits

Apr 28 2014

Armed pirates boarded the small Japanese-controlled 4,999 dwt tanker ‘Naniwa Maru No 1’ in the Malacca Strait, off Port Klang last Tuesday.

Three seafarers were taken off the vessel, Malaysian maritime officials said on Wednesday.

"We are very concerned," Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's Malaysia-based Piracy Reporting Centre told Reuters "It's the first time this has happened so far north in the Malacca Strait and the first time they have kidnapped the crew. It's not an area where we have seen the modus operandi of ships hijacked for their cargo.”

Eight Indonesian pirates in a fishing vessel boarded the ‘Naniwa Maru No 1’ at 1 am local time on Tuesday off the coast of west Malaysia, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said.

The pirates pumped out about 3 mill litres of the 4.5 mill litres of diesel carried by the tanker into two waiting vessels and made off with three Indonesian crew members, including the captain and chief engineer, the agency said.

"There is a possibility that the abducted crew was involved in the hijack based on new leads and that their personal documents, clothes and belongings were taken along with then," the agency said in a statement.

The St Kitts and Nevis registered tanker, which was bound for Myanmar from Singapore, was towed to Malaysia's Port Klang for further investigations.

Malaysian authorities are now working closely with their Indonesian counterparts to track down the two vessels and locate the missing crew, Reuters said

The tanker is managed by Singapore company Pantec Chartering, which was unable to comment when contacted by Reuters. The tanker had 18 crew members made up of Indonesian, Thai, Myanmar and Indian nationals.


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