Pirates loot oil tanker off Malaysia’s coast

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naniwa maru no 1Armed pirates have raided a Japanese oil tanker off the coast of Malaysia, kidnapping three crew members and pumping millions of liters of diesel fuel over several hours.

Six pirates in a speedboat boarded the Naninwa Maru early on April 23 off the coast of west Malaysia, Maritime Police Commander Abdul Aziz Yusof told Reuters.

“We are doing a thorough investigation. We have ruled out kidnapping because no ransom demand has been made,” said Abdul Rahim Abdullah, Malaysia’s maritime police deputy commander.

He said the ship’s Indonesian captain, chief engineer and a supporting crew member were missing along with their passports and belongings. Authorities are investigating whether they were involved.

The tanker, traveling from Singapore to Myanmar, had Indonesian, Thai, Burmese and Indian crew members.

The pirates pumped out more than half the five million liters of diesel into two waiting vessels.

Regional security officials have previously said that pirates in the Malacca Strait may be part of a syndicate that can either have links to the crew on board target ships, or inside knowledge about the ship and cargo.

Attacks by gangs armed with guns and knives on shipping in the strait have ranged from 12 to 20 incidents a year over the last three years, says the Singapore headquarters of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia. Most of these incidents have involved the theft of ship’s stores, cash and assaults on the crew.

That compares with a peak of 220 recorded attacks in 2000, according to the Kuala Lumpur-based International Maritime Bureau, which tracks pirate activity.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Armed pirates have raided a Japanese oil tanker off the coast of Malaysia, kidnapping three crew members and pumping millions of liters of diesel fuel over several hours.

Reading Time: 1 minute

naniwa maru no 1Armed pirates have raided a Japanese oil tanker off the coast of Malaysia, kidnapping three crew members and pumping millions of liters of diesel fuel over several hours.

Six pirates in a speedboat boarded the Naninwa Maru early on April 23 off the coast of west Malaysia, Maritime Police Commander Abdul Aziz Yusof told Reuters.

“We are doing a thorough investigation. We have ruled out kidnapping because no ransom demand has been made,” said Abdul Rahim Abdullah, Malaysia’s maritime police deputy commander.

He said the ship’s Indonesian captain, chief engineer and a supporting crew member were missing along with their passports and belongings. Authorities are investigating whether they were involved.

The tanker, traveling from Singapore to Myanmar, had Indonesian, Thai, Burmese and Indian crew members.

The pirates pumped out more than half the five million liters of diesel into two waiting vessels.

Regional security officials have previously said that pirates in the Malacca Strait may be part of a syndicate that can either have links to the crew on board target ships, or inside knowledge about the ship and cargo.

Attacks by gangs armed with guns and knives on shipping in the strait have ranged from 12 to 20 incidents a year over the last three years, says the Singapore headquarters of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia. Most of these incidents have involved the theft of ship’s stores, cash and assaults on the crew.

That compares with a peak of 220 recorded attacks in 2000, according to the Kuala Lumpur-based International Maritime Bureau, which tracks pirate activity.

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