Pirates Raid Japanese Oil Tanker off Malaysia

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 insurance premiums.

Noel Choong, head of International Maritime Bureau’s Malaysia-based Piracy Reporting Center said, “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.”

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 pirates pumped out about 3 million liters of the 4.5 million liters of diesel carried by the tanker into waiting vessels and made off with three Indonesian crew members, including the captain and chief engineer.

The agency said in a statement, “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 them.”

The Saint Kitts and Nevis registered 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.

Story courtesy of The Maritime Executive, to read the full article click here.

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exactAIS® tracking of the Naniwa Maru No. 1 bound for Myanmar before being raided by pirates, then towed to Port Klang for investigations.

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