The Singapore-flagged Ocean Energy was hijacked in the Straits of Malacca on Saturday and fuel siphoned from tanker.
According to a report from the Southeast Asian piracy watchdog ReCAAP, the taker bound for Myanmar is the fifth to be targeted by robbers since the start of 2015.
At 2130 hrs on Saturday eight perpetrators armed with guns boarded the vessel whilst it was heading up the Straits of Malacca.
The pirates ordered the ship to anchor off Port Dickson and a barge came alongside. The Master and crew were locked away and a reported 2023 MT of Marine Gas Oil was siphoned off.
The perpetrators left the vessel at about 0430 hrs on Sunday morning, after damaging the ship’s communication equipment and took away the ship’s Iridium phone, the crew’s cash and mobile phones.
The ship returned to its home port and all crew was reported safe and not injured.
“Whilst the crew was not harmed, the criminal act of holding them under threat, stealing their cash and personal belongings; and the vessel’s cargo is unacceptable,” ReCAAP said.
Hijacking of small coastal tankers in the region has been a serious issue in S.E Asia for the last 12 months, overshadowing the problems faced by merchant ships in both East and West Africa. This was the fifth fuel siphoning case reported in the region since January this year.