Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia maritime
authorities have rescued a tanker and a barge which were
hijacked in the latest South China Sea pirate attacks,
officials said Sunday.
A tanker carrying oil and gas worth 14 million ringgit
(USD 4.6 million) was hijacked Thursday in the Straits of
Singapore, said Syed Mohamad Fuzi Syed Hasan, a regional
operations director with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement
Authorities located the Malaysian-registered MT
Nautica Johor Bahru off the country`s east coast Friday after
an alert from the shipping company that the vessel was no
Navy ships from Malaysia and neighbouring Indonesia
managed to intercept the vessel in Indonesian waters though
the pirates, about 10 men armed with a pistol and machetes,
got away in a speedboat, Syed Mohamad Fuzi said.
None of the 19 crew members was injured but their
belongings were stolen. The tanker was on its way from
peninsular Malaysia to Borneo island, he said.
Meanwhile, authorities also rescued a barge with two
crew and palm oil worth eight million ringgit on board
Thursday off southern Malaysia, said maritime enforcement
agency regional commander Zulkifli Abu Bakar.
The barge was hijacked from a fishing boat in
Indonesian waters Wednesday while traveling from Borneo to
peninsular Malaysia, he said. The six armed pirates had left
the barge, presumably to get another tug boat.
Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime
Bureau`s piracy reporting centre, called on authorities and
ships to be vigilant.