Armed Bunker Pirates Strike Again Off Malaysia as 2 Vessels Targeted Within a Week

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday June 8, 2015

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reports armed bunker pirates last week attacked and stole oil cargo from a product tanker eight nautical miles (nm) off the coast of Pu Aur, Malaysia.

IMB also says a bulk carrier last week was unsuccessfully attacked, with the two incidents marking the latest in what has been described as a "significant and worrying" increase in Asian piracy.

In its June 4 report, IMB says the product tanker was underway as the time armed bunker pirates boarded and hijacked the vessel.

"They took hostage all crew members, altered course and sailed the vessel until it rendezvoused with another vessel into which part of the oil cargo was transferred and stolen," said IMB.

"Before departing, crew and ship properties were stolen and all communication equipment was damaged. All crew reported safe. Vessel sailed to a safe port."

Several separate media reports indicate the vessel was the 2009 built 7,640-dwt Orkim Victory owned by Malaysian player Orkim Sdn Bhd.

In a separate June 1 report, IMB said an unnamed bulk carrier was boarded with at berth 3.7 nm west of Patenga, Bangladesh.

"Five robbers armed with knives boarded an anchored bulk carrier with a rope ladder. The robbers tried to attack the crew watchmen," said IMB.

"Alarm raised and crew mustered. Upon hearing the alarm, the robbers escaped with stolen ship's properties."

In May Singapore-based ReCAAP ISC says the Malaysia-flagged tanker MT Oriental Glory was hijacked by armed bunker pirates for the second time in 12 months, who siphoned off and stole about 2,500 metric tonnes (mt) of marine gas oil.