After taking a break in July, Southeast Asia’s pirates appear to have returned to form with the hijacking of a product tanker, Joaquim, on August 8th.
According to a report issued by ReCAAP, the Joaquim’s last known position was 02:34N-101:26:20E at 1350 LT. The vessel’s AIS was switched off and the shipping company notified the IFC who in turn informed ReCAAP ISC, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), and the Indonesian authorities.
On August 9th in the early hours (time not stated), the MMEA located the ship in position 02:03N-101:59.39E, around 14nm off Tanjun Kling, Indonesia. According to the report, an unknown number of armed pirates had boarded her and taken the crew hostage before siphoning the ship’s cargo and escaping. Around 3,000mt of the ship’s cargo of fuel oil had been siphoned off. Two crew received minor injuries following assaults by the pirates. The MMEA is investigating the incident.
After a quiet period in July where no vessels were reported hijacked, this new incident marks a return to the pattern of previous months. Despite increased security in the region, it remains apparent that pirates are seemingly able to operate with impunity.