Malaysian court jails six Indonesian pirates



Malaysian court jails six Indonesian pirates Kuala Lumpur: A Malaysian court has sentenced six Indonesians to 10 years in jail and caning for trying to rob a merchant ship off its southern coast near Singapore, reports said on Saturday.

A district court in southern Johor state sentenced the men yesterday after they pleaded guilty to gang robbery of the MT Sky Jupiter on September 19, the New Straits Times and national news agency Bernama reported.

Government lawyer Mirza Mohamad reportedly called for a deterrent sentence to reflect the crime's seriousness, and the court awarded the men 10 years in prison -- half the maximum penalty -- and four strokes with the rotan cane.

"We do not want the situation to worsen like what is happening in the Gulf of Aden" off Somalia where pirate attacks are frequent, the Times quoted Mirza as saying.

Bernama reported the six, aged between 25 and 45, were legally unrepresented.

The men were spotted by Malaysian patrols as they tried to board the merchant vessel, anchored off the country's southern tip near Singapore, and caught them after a chase.

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in June sent an alert to ships traversing the South China Sea, warning of a heightened piracy risk following the hijacking of three tugboats and a barge this year there.

The Strait of Malacca -- separating the coast of Indonesian Sumatra and the Malay peninsula -- has seen a lull in attacks in recent years following cooperation by the surrounding countries to rein in piracy.

PTI