Armed pirates hijacked a product tanker off Malaysia on Thursday, sailing it to where it met another vessel, where part of its oil cargo was illegally siphoned off.
The crew were taken hostage during the attack but are now safe, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB)’s piracy reporting centre.
The vessel itself is now in a safe port, and is thought to be Orkim Victory (7,100 dwt, built 2009), which is operated by Malaysia’s Orkim Shipmanagement.
The attack happened east of Mersing, off Malaysia in the South China Sea.
Before the attackers left the vessel, they stole all the crew and ship’s properties and damaged the vessel’s communication equipment.
Another vessel, the timber carrier KM Mutiara, was reportedly attacked by pirates on June 3, east of Palau Bangka island, Indonesia, in the South China Sea.
The crew appear to have been robbed and were made to jump overboard, before being rescued by local fishermen, Indonesian press reports say.
The hijackers are said to have sailed the vessel north, but its current location is unknown. Investigations into the incident are ongoing.