Pirates attacked A Malaysian-registered oil tanker off the coast of West Kalimantan (Indonesia) and robbed its crew of valuables on Thursday night.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) district operations director Commander Shahref Steve Mac Queen Abdullah said
the tanker, MT Dongfang, was travelling from Port Dickson to Labuan when the incident happened around 8.30pm in Indonesian waters
"The ship's 17 member crews were not harmed during the incident," said Kuching district operations director Commander Steve MacQueen Abdullah.
“The MMEA was informed by the International Maritime Bureau about the robbery, which occurred about 52 nautical miles north of Pulau Uwi in Indonesia.
"The robbers, numbering about 25, were armed with pistols. They took the crew's personal items and damaged the ship's communication and navigation equipment," he said.
He said a Navy ship, which was on the way to east Malaysia, responded by guiding the vessel and its crew to Kuching.
Shahref added that the pirates did not harm the crew, comprising Malaysians, Indonesians and Bangladeshis, but damaged communication and navigation equipment onboard the tanker before fleeing with cash and mobile phones.
The pirates were also believed to have siphoned an undetermined quantity of diesel and petrol from the tanker’s cargo during the heist onto their own boat.
Following the incident, the tanker made its way back into Malaysian waters where it was met by a Royal Malaysian Navy vessel, which happened to be travelling to the east coast, and was then escorted here.
“For safety reasons, the MMEA will be dispatching a vessel to accompany the tanker during the remainder of its journey to Labuan,” said Shahref.