Singapore: A small product tanker has been hit by robbers stealing its cargo for the second time in the space of a year.
The Malaysia-registered product tanker Oriental Glory was surrounded by six fishing boats at around 0600hrs yesterday morning off Labuan in East Malaysia. 30 perpetrators boarded the tanker and took it to another location, some 188 nautical miles northwest of Bruit Island, also in Malaysia. A total of 2,500 metric tons of oil was siphoned off the vessel.
All crew are safe and the vessel is proceeding to Tanjung Manis for further investigation, regional piracy watchdog ReCAAP said in an incident alert.
The unfortunate Oriental Glory was hit by pirates last July too.
This is the seventh incident of ship fuel siphoning reported since January this year. ReCAAP urged vessels to exercise enhanced vigilance and the littoral states to step up surveillance.
The navies of the littoral states – Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore – are looking at bolstering patrols in the South China Sea.