The eight Indonesian nationals arrested by Vietnamese authorities and suspected of hijacking the Malaysia-flagged tanker Orkim Harmony confessed to the crime, the Malaysian daily The Straits Times quoted a high ranking official from Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) as saying.
Malaysia plans to ask Vietnam to extradite the eight men on the grounds that the crime had been committed in Malaysian waters, on a Malaysia-flagged vessel.
As World Maritime News reported last week, Vietnamese maritime authorities arrested the eight suspected hijackers off the Tho Chu Island on Friday. At the time, the men were claiming to be fishermen and that their vessel had sunk.
Earlier that day, the eight men boarded one of the Orkim Harmony’s lifeboats and fled, after being tailed by Malasian Navy’s aircraft and vessels for several hours.
The Navy recovered the vessel and found all 22 crew members to be safe and unharmed except the cook, an Indonesian national, who suffered a gunshot injury to his thigh.
The Orkim Harmony was escorted to the Kuantan Port.
MT Orkim Harmony went missing 17 nautical miles southwest of Pulau Aur on June 11. The tanker’s crew members include 16 Indonesians, Malaysians, and Myanmar nationals.
World Maritime News Staff