Eight pirates armed with guns boarded a Singapore-registered petroleum product tanker while under way in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on May 2nd, piracy watchdog ReCAAP ISC informed.
The pirates ordered the Ocean Energy crew to anchor off Port Dickson, where a barge came alongside to siphon the vessel’s cargo.
Whilst the master and crew were locked away, 2,023 tons of gas oil was discharged to the barge, ReCAAP said.
The perpetrators left the vessel at about 0430 hrs on 3 May 15, after damaging the ship’s communication equipment and took away the crew’s cash and mobile phones.
The vessel only managed to contact the Company Security Officer (CSO) at about 0553 hrs to report the incident.
The ship returned to its home port and all crew was reported safe and not injured.
The product tanker departed Singapore on 2 May 15 at 0845 hrs for Myanmar.
ReCAAP said that this was the 5th fuel siphoning case reported since January 2015 and the 2nd case in the Straits of Malacca.
The ReCAAP ISC advised all vessels to exercise enhanced vigilance while transiting the area, and report all incidents to the nearest coastal state, urging at the same time relevant authorities to increase surveillance and timely responses to this transnational crime.