The spate of tanker hijackings in Southeast Asia continues, with ReCAAP today reporting the hijacking of the MT Ocean Energy on May 2nd.According to the official report, the tanker was boarded by eight armed men at around 2130 LT in position 02:19.64N-101:40.4E whilst underway en route to Myanmar from Singapore. The pirates ordered the ship to anchor off Port Dickson and a barge came alongside. The Master and crew were locked away and a reported 2023 MT of Marine Gas Oil was siphoned off.
The pirates left the ship at around 0430 LT on May 3rd after damaging the ship’s comms equipment and stole crew cash and possessions as well as the ship’s satellite phone. The crew is reportedly uninjured and safe.
Hijacking of small coastal tankers in the region have been a serious issue in S.E Asia for the last 12 months, overshadowing the problems faced by merchant ships in both East and West Africa.