The ReCAAP ISC informed of a piracy incident that occurred on a Thai-flagged product tanker MGT 1. Initial investigation revealed that 13 armed perpetrators with two small fast boats boarded the tanker and forced the crew to transfer one million litres of diesel oil (out of 2.2 million litres contained in the tanker) to a mother ship.
The crew managed to activate the SSAS alarm. The Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) dispatched two ships and a helicopter to the location and rescued the tanker at 0400 hrs on 7 September. Ten perpetrators were apprehended and search for the remaining three perpetrators is on-going. The tanker is now being escorted to Kuala Terengganu for further investigation.
“The rapid apprehension of the perpetrators and successful rescue of the crew and vessel within hours from reporting is a testament to the effectiveness of timely reporting by the ship and effective enforcement by the relevant authorities,” stated Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director, ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre.
This is the second incident involving theft of oil cargo reported in Asia in 2017, after the hijack of product tanker C.P. 41 for oil cargo theft, on 23 June, approximately 25 nm east of Kuantan, West Malaysia.
“The ReCAAP ISC is concerned about the recurrence of incidents of hijacking of ship for theft of oil cargo. Ships carrying oil cargo are encouraged to exercise vigilance and adopt precautionary measures taking reference from the ‘Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia’”, ReCAAP notes.