Hijackers leave a ‘bomb’ on Thai tanker

Bangkok: In a frightening new development in the ongoing series of fuel thefts in Southeast Asian waters, a bomb has allegedly been left onboard a hijacked Thai tanker. Robbers stole 2,000 tonnes of bunker oil and five tonnes of diesel oil before leaving behind a bomb on a Thai tanker in Malaysian waters on Friday evening.

As with most other cases of fuel theft in recent months, the small product tanker had just left Singapore port when the attack took place.

Up to eight robbers, believed to be Indonesian, boarded the ship, Lapin, three of whom had guns and the others carried knives and swords, according to the Bangkok Post. Fuel was siphoned off into a waiting nearby vessel and then the robbers left what looked like a homemade bomb on the flying bridge area of the attacked vessel.

The ship was brought back to Thai waters and the navy has now set about examining the alleged bomb. None of the crew were hurt in the incident, the latest in a recent flurry of fuel thefts in and around the Malacca Straits.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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