ReCAAP reports that pirates hijacked the MT Oriental Glory on May 15th at around 0600 LT in Southeast Asia, taking the total for the year so far to nine ships taken by armed pirates in order to siphon their cargoes.
According to the report, the MT Oriental Glory had left Labuan, East Malaysia and was bound for Tunjung Manis, Sarawak, East Malaysia when six boats surrounded her and an estimated 30 (thirty) pirates boarded the ship. The ship was then taken to another location, 05:22.02N – 109:33.06E, around 188nm NW of Bruit Island, Malaysia. It would appear that it came alongside a second tanker and that 2,500 MT of ship fuel/oil was then siphoned off.
The pirates appear to have then left the ship which is now under crew control and heading to Tanjung Manis for further investigation.
This is the seventh reported incident of hijacking for cargo in the region so far in 2015. The Oriental Glory was involved in a similar incident in July 2014, when 25 pirates boarded her off Indonesia and stole some 1,600 MT of MGO.
Authorities in the region are investigating.
Recently ReCAAP reported that the Eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme in the SOMS was a hot spot for maritime crime, particularly during the hours of darkness.
Western PMSCs are keen to operate in the region, although several states ban the use of firearms in their territorial waters. Equally, while the Somali anti piracy model has worked well, it cannot easily be applied to Southeast Asia, where the problem is different.
As has been pointed out by an esteemed colleague, the ships taken so far in Southeast Asia are:
January 28th: Sun Birdie
January 28th: Rehobot
February 13th: Lapin
February 20th: Phubai Pattra 1
March 9th: Singa Berlian
March 22nd: Davide Tide II
April 1st: Dongfang Glory
May 2nd: Ocean Energy
May 15th: Oriental Glory