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 Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter May 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Tanker Trends

TORM CFO Zacho Resigns

Mads Peter Zacho, Chief Financial Offer at TORM, has resigned to become Chief Executive Officer at J. Lauritzen A/S. Mads has been with TORM since 2013 and will

Alfa Laval PureNOx Prime Ordered for Five VLECs

Alfa Laval’s new PureNOx Prime solution for water treatment in Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), will be part of EGR systems on five very large ethane carriers

NASSCO Delivers Second ECO Tanker to APT

On Thursday, May 19, shipbuilders at General Dynamics NASSCO delivered the Magnolia State to longtime customer American Petroleum Tankers (APT). The ECO Class tanker

Ports

DP World Launches $1.2 bln Sukuk Issue to Cover Tender

Dubai-based ports operator DP World launched a seven-year $1.2 billion sukuk issue on Tuesday, a document from lead managers showed.   The issue, structured to

New Call at Port Kelang on CMA CGM’s REX 2

CMA CGM has introduced a new westbound call at Port Kelang on its REX 2 service connecting Asia with Red Sea.   CMA CGM has decided to replace its REX2 westbound Singapore call with Port Kelang.

Maersk Line Launches Latin America, Asia Service

Maersk Line announced changes to its AC network with the launch of its AC1 service, connecting the West Coast of Latin America with Asia, beginning at the end of June.

Maritime Security

Japan, Canada Share "Serious Concerns" on South China Sea-PM Abe

Japan and Canada share "serious concerns" over reclamation and militarisation in the South China Sea, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday, in an

ABS: Sharpening its Global View

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), already one of the world’s well-regarded classification societies, recently restructured its ranks to meet the perpetually evolving needs of its customers.

South Africa arrests Chinese ships for illegal squid fishing

South Africa's navy has detained three Chinese ships with around 100 crew on board on suspicion of illegal squid fishing, officials said on Monday. The ships

Maritime Safety

Grounded Bulker Repaired, Heads for Japan

The Captain of the Port for Oregon and southern Washington canceled the captain of the port order on the motor vessel Sparna allowing the vessel to leave its mooring at Kalama, Wash.

Winners of Ferry Design Contest Selected

Winners of International Student Design Competition for a Safe Affordable Ferry to be revealed at the Ferry Safety and Technology Conference   Dr. Roberta Weisbrod,

Maritime Consolidation: Palfinger Aims to Acquire Harding

As maritime markets continue to struggle, merger and acquisition activity should heat up. Today, Austria's Palfinger Group announced that it intends to acquire

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
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: 0.0640 sec (16 req/sec)