Masafumi Kuroki, executive director, at the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre has commended authorities for their quick actions in thwarting yet another piracy attack in Southeast Asia.
The Thai-flagged product tanker MGT 1 was underway from Rayong port, Thailand when it was attacked to the east of Kuala Dungun, Kuala Terengganu in western Malaysia.
13 armed perpetrators with two small fast boats boarded the tanker and forced the crew to transfer 1m litres of diesel oil 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 early this morning. Ten perpetrators were apprehended and search for the remaining three perpetrators is ongoing. The tanker is now being escorted to Kuala Terengganu for further investigation.
This is the second incident involving theft of oil cargo reported in Asia in 2017.
“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,” commented ReCAAP’s Kuroki.