Indonesian tanker taken by crew, not pirates

Indonesian tanker taken by crew, not pirates

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has said there is no evidence of terrorism in the disappearance of a Indonesian product tanker, which appears to have been at the centre of a commercial dispute, reports say.

A spokesman for the MMEA told Reuters early investigations showed the Vier Harmoni (pictured) had been taken due to a disagreement between the ship’s management and the crew.

Earlier reports had speculated that the vessel had been the victim of piracy in the region.

“We tried to contact the ship but it went unanswered,” the MMEA’s southern regional chief Admiral Adon Shalan told The Star newspaper. “We believe the ship’s captain might have turned off its tracking system as we could not trace it on our radar.”

The Indonesia-flagged ship is owned by Jakarta-based Vierlines and was reportedly being leased by a Malaysian company.

The tanker was carrying 900,000 litres of diesel, valued at around MYR 1.6m ($390,000), when it “disappeared” in Malaysian waters.

Thomson Reuters data suggests the ship’s transponder has been turned off since June 20.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.

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