Bunker Pirates Steal MGO from Hijacked Tanker off Malaysia

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday July 8, 2014

The Honduras-flagged MGO tanker Moresby 9 on Friday, July 4, 2014, was hijacked off Malaysia, Seatrade Global reports.

According to an alert from the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre, an unknown number of pirates boarded the vessel at 19:38 local time when it was approximately 34 nautical miles off Indonesia's Anambas Island.

An unknown portion of the 2,200 metric tonne (mt) cargo was said to have been stolen.

The Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) was on standby while the Indonesia Navy searched the area of the last known position of the tanker, but the vessel was unable to be located.

However reports suggest that the vessel's owners have re-established contact, although its whereabouts remain unclear.

Moresby 9 was also attacked by pirates on August 17, 2013 while anchored at approximately 1.8 nautical miles (nm) southeast of Tanjung Ramunia, Malaysia.

"This latest incident is another example of hijack for cargo theft that has become widely reported this year in South East Asia," Mike Edey, Head of Operations, Dryad Maritime, was quoted as saying by maritime and offshore website gCaptain.

"The last time MT Moresby 9 was attacked the crew reacted quickly and were fortunate to have a patrol vessel nearby to render assistance. It is hoped that the ship and crew will soon make safe port."

The latest theft is believed to be the region's seventh known case since April of a coastal tanker being hijacked for its cargo of diesel or gas oil, and follows a warning in June by Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's (IMB) piracy reporting center, that such attacks in Southeast Asia "will become rampant."