A liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker was boarded by armed pirates on Thursday, September 7, while underway off Malaysia.
As informed by the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, four persons armed with a gun and knives boarded the LPG carrier while the ship was sailing some 35 nautical miles south-south east off Pulau Aur.
“They stole crew and ship’s properties and escaped,” the piracy watchdog said.
There have been no injuries reported to the crew who are all said to be safe.
The incident took place only a day after ten pirates were arrested by the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) while trying to steal oil cargo from a product tanker.
Namely, a Thai-flagged product tanker MGT 1 was boarded on September 6 by 13 men east of Kuala Dungun, West Malaysia, who approached the tanker in two small fast boats, Asia’s piracy watchdog ReCAAP said.
The pirates boarded the tanker, switched off the AIS equipment and forced the crew to transfer one million litres of diesel oil (out of 2.2 million litres contained in the tanker) to a mother ship.
The crew activated the SSAS and the MMEA dispatched two patrol vessels and a helicopter to locate the tanker. The helicopter spotted the hijacked tanker with another unknown vessel alongside, enabling the MMEA forces to save the crew and arrest ten perpetrators.
A total of 43 incidents were reported during January-August 2017, of which 36 were actual incidents and seven were attempted incidents, ReCAAP’s figures show. The number of incidents reported this year was the lowest in the 10-year reporting period, showing a 20% decrease in the total number of incidents when compared to the corresponding figures from last year.
Despite the overall improvement, the watchdog warned of an increase in the number of incidents reported at ports and anchorages in Bangladesh (Chittagong) and Philippines (Manila and Batangas) compared to the same period in 2016.
World Maritime News Staff