Orkim Harmony Pirate Mastermind Caught

Photo shows the pirates painted over the name of the vessel, changing it to KIM HARMON. Photo: Royal Malaysian Navy
Photo shows the pirates painted over the name of the vessel, changing it to KIM HARMON. Photo: Royal Malaysian Navy

The suspected mastermind behind the hijacking of an Orkim product tanker earlier this year off Malaysia has been arrested outside Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta.

Indonesian media and the Navy reported Monday the arrest of Albert Yohanes, a man suspected of being the mastermind behind the hijacking drama of the MT Orkim Harmony in June.

The Malaysian-flagged Orkim Harmony was carrying approximately 6,000 metric tonnes of gasoline when it went missing on June 11th while off the coast Malaysia, prompting a search involving the Malaysian maritime authorities and the Indonesian Navy.

The tanker was located a week later still under the control of the pirate gang, who had repainted over the IMO number and name of the vessel, renaming it Kim Harmon. Pirates fled the ship about a day later after being tailed by Malaysian navy ships and aircraft, and local media reported that eight suspects believed to be the hijackers were apprehended.

The Orkim Harmony had a crew of 22, including 16 Malaysians, five Indonesians and one Myanmar national. One crew member was injured after being shot to the leg during the ordeal.

Yohanes, who is believed to be the mastermind behind the ordeal, was arrested in an apartment in West Jakarta on Thursday, according to reports.

Earlier in June, Orkim Harmony’s sister vessel, Orkim Victory, was targeted by pirates in the same area as the Orkim Harmony hijacking. In that incident, the pirates were able to siphon off 770 metric tonnes of Automotive Diesel Oil (ADO).

Both Orkim Harmony and Orkim Victory are owned by Malaysia’s Orkim Group. In both cases, the vessels were carrying cargo belonging to Petronas.