Pirates Raid Tanker off Malaysia, 3 Mariners Taken

Joseph Keefe
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Armed pirates raided an oil tanker off the coast of Malaysia and took three crew members with them, Malaysian maritime officials said on Wednesday, underscoring increasing threats to shipping in one of the world's busiest waterways.

The incident in the Malacca Strait, a route for about a quarter of the world's seaborne oil trade, has fueled fears piracy could be on the rise in the area and drive up ship insurance premiums.

"We are very concerned," said Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's Malaysia-based Piracy Reporting Centre, who added the ship was hijacked while sailing near the Malaysia town of Port Klang.

"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," he told Reuters.

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

The pirates pumped out about 3 million litres of the 4.5 million 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 Saint Kitts and Nevis reigstered oil tanker, which was bound for Myanmar from Singapore, had been 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.

GOING NORTH

Regional security officials have previously told Reuters that armed gangs prowling the Malacca Strait may be part of a syndicate that can either have links to the crew on board the hijacking target or inside knowledge about the ship and cargo.

Such intelligence-led hijacks have involved seizing tankers so that gasoil cargoes can be transferred and sold on the black market, the officials, who declined to be identified because they are not authorised to speak to the media, have said.

The stolen cargo is worth about $2.5 million, based on the average price of diesel this year in Singapore, data from British shipping services firm Clarkson shows.

The tanker is managed by Singapore company Pantec Chartering which was unable to comment when contacted by Reuters. The 4,999-deadweight tonne vessel had a 18 member crew of Indonesian, Thai, Myanmar and Indian nationals.

Insurance sources said the incident was unlikely to spark an immediate increase in premiums, but insurers would be concerned if there were several more hijackings.

Previous tanker hijackings and cargo thefts have taken place closer to Singapore, with five such incidents between 2011 and 2013, according to the government-to-government body Regional Co-operation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).

There were eight armed robbery attacks in the Malacca Strait and around Singapore in the first quarter this year, compared with one in the same period last year, Singapore-headquartered ReCAAP said, although most were small thefts.

 

By Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah and Keith Wallis

Maritime Reporter June 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Tanker Trends

NewLead Holdings Announces Commercial Competency of MT Sofia

NewLead Holdings Ltd.announced today a review of the commercial competency of one of its bitumen tanker vessels, the MT Sofia since the vessel was delivered to NewLead's fleet.

Scorpio Tankers to Acquire Product Tanker

Scorpio Tankers Inc. announced today that it has entered into an agreement to purchase an MR product tanker. The Company reached an agreement with an unrelated

Carrier for Kansai Electric Power Named LNG FUKUROKUJU

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today took part in a naming ceremony for the newbuilding liquefied natural gas carrier LNG FUKUROKUJU, which is co-owned by MOL and Kansai Electric Power Co.

Ports

MOL's Barge Terminal in Bangkok

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced the signing of a Joint Venture Agreement with SahaThai Terminal Co.,Ltd., a container terminal operation company in Thailand,

Petronas-led Consortium to Start Construction of B.C. LNG terminal Soon

British Columbia's finance minister Michael de Jong said that the construction of Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) $36 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export

Malaccan Ports to Become Specialised Hubs

Plans are underway to convert seven Malaccan ports into specialized hubs for various sectors to spur the state's economic development, reports the Star.    The

Maritime Security

CMMI’s Maritime Potpourri Focuses on Raising the Bar

The growing popularity of “Maritime Potpourri” Conference organized by the Company of Master Mariners of India (CMMI) was evident yet again on 25th July, 2015

Wrecked 'Russian submarine' found in Swedish waters

A wrecked mini-submarine was found last week in waters off of Sweden’s eastern coast.   Authorities believe it is a Russian model, primarily because of Cyrillic letters on the hull.

Joint CIC on Enclosed Spaces to be Launched

The Maritime Authorities of the Tokyo and the Paris Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control will launch a joint Concentrated Inspection Campaign

Maritime Safety

CMMI’s Maritime Potpourri Focuses on Raising the Bar

The growing popularity of “Maritime Potpourri” Conference organized by the Company of Master Mariners of India (CMMI) was evident yet again on 25th July, 2015

Two Rescued Near Hug Point, ORE.

A Coast Guard Air Station Astoria aircrew assisted Clatsop County Sheriff Department personnel with the rescue of two hikers stranded by incoming tide near Hug Point, Monday.

New 20kA Surge Protector for 480V

SSL power solutions manufacturer Thomas Research Products (TRP) has introduced a new surge protector for 480V circuits. The FSP3-480-20kA protects LED luminaires from surges up to 20,000 amps.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1248 sec (8 req/sec)