The International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre reports that 10 armed pirates boarded and hijacked a product tanker Thursday while underway approximately 7 miles west of Pulau Kukup, Malaysia.
The IMB report says that ten robbers armed with guns and knives boarded the tanker and tied up the vessel’s crewmembers, holding them hostage in one cabin.
The pirates later ordered the Master to steer the ship to a pre-designated position where another vessel, described as an orange-hulled tanker, was waiting. The robbers forced the Chief Officer and the bosun to use the cargo pumps, valves and mooring winches to steel all the vessel’s gas oil cargo, the report said.
The pirates left the vessel after also stealing crew belongings. The report adds that no crew were injured in the incident.
Thursday’s hijacking follows a similar hijacking of a product tanker October 10th off Pulau Aur, Malaysia. During that attack, pirates boarded the vessel, took the crew hostage and stole the vessel’s cargo before releasing the ship five days later.
A similar attack on a product tanker was also attempted October 26 off Kuantan Port, Malaysia, but was aborted by the pirates after the crew took measure to evade the attack.