Authorities nab pirates mid-hijacking

Singapore: A hijacking of a chemical tanker in Malaysian waters has been halted.

The Sun Birdie (pictured) went missing on Wednesday. The owner lost communication with the vessel on Wednesday. The last known position was at Lat 01°19.39'N , Long 104°12.35'E, a nautical mile south of Tanjung Ayam in Malaysia. Relevant authorities were deployed to track down the ship which was carrying 700 tons of marine fuel oil and had a crew of 11.

Late last night Malaysian authorities successfully recovered the Sun Birdie 17.63 nm northeast of Tanjung Penawar in Malaysia.
Authorities detained the ship’s crew and seven perpetrators found onboard Sun Birdie. The vessel was brought back to Penggerang for further investigation. Another two perpetrators jumped overboard and fled. They were picked up by a passing ship, Challenger Premier at approximately 12.73 nm east of Tanjung Penawar.

The Malaysian flagged vessel is the latest victim of the growing racket of fuel syphoning by criminal gangs in the region. Incidents of piracy in Southeast Asia soared 21% last year, according to UK risk analysts, Dryad Maritime, making the region the most piracy prone in the world.  [30/01/15]