A crew member of a Vietnamese tanker VP Asphalt 2 has been killed by pirates in a hijacking attack on Sunday afternoon off the eastern coast of Malaysia.
The vessel, owned by VP Petrochemical Transport Co, had just left Singapore loaded with 2,300 metric tons of liquid asphalt, when pirates, apparently confusing the carrier for an oil tanker, attacked the vessel, Bloomberg writes citing Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center.
The ill-fated crew member was shot in the forehead by pirates, who stormed the Vietnam-bound vessel near Aur island off southern Johor state, the International Maritime Bureau said.
The pirates stole the crew’s belongings before escaping, Noel Choong, head of IMB’s Kuala Lumpur-based Piracy Reporting Center, told AFP.
The shot crew member was flown to a Singapore hospital but died due to severe injuries, Choong added.
The tanker is reported to had returned to Singapore.
Piracy in the Southeast Asia has been on a steady rise as armed attacks on small tankers become ever more frequent in the region, which is home to some of the most important transportation choke-points.
World Maritime News Staff