Missing Malaysian vessel likely attacked by pirates, says coast guard

At sea enroute Ikorodu to Victoria IslandA petroleum tanker that went missing five days ago was likely to attacked by pirates, the Malaysian coast guard said on Monday.

The Deputy Director -General of the Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Ahmad Ab Kahar, said that as of Monday there was no ransom demand for the 22 crew members on board the MT Orkim Harmony.

Ab Kahar said that they went missing on Thursday in the waters off the southern state of Johor.

“If we want to say they are hostages, they must have somebody asking for ransom,’’ he told a press conference.

Ab Kahar said the missing vessel was carrying 7,000 tons of high-grade petrol with an estimated value of 21 million ringgit, approximately 5.6 million dollars.

He said maritime authorities in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and the U.S. have been alerted about the missing vessel.

Prime Minister, Najib Razak, vowed to deploy all available resources to locate the vessel.
According to the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre earlier this month armed pirates hijacked a tanker in eastern Malaysia, siphoned the oil and robbed the crew before fleeing.

South-East Asia accounted for 55 per cent of global piracy incidents in the first quarter of 2015, according to the Kuala Lumpur-based Piracy Reporting Centre.

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