Kuala Lumpur: A tanker travelling from Singapore to Labuan was robbed of 100,000 metric tonnes of petroleum by a crew of six pirates last Saturday, in the latest of what has become a growing scourge of fuel robberies in the region.
A Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) spokesman said the incident unfolded around 11.30pm, when the Malaysian vessel MT Budi Mesra Dua was 78 nautical miles off the Tanjung Batu Bintulu coast.
The pirates, who approached the tanker on a boat, were armed with machetes and knives.
They tied up all 22 tanker crew members and then transferred the petroleum using a pump to a waiting 60-metre long barge.
There have been a spate of fuel robbery attempts of late. UK maritime operations firm Dryad Maritime issued an advisory to its shipping clients last week.
“Such crime will continue to be perpetrated to feed the black market,” said Dryad’s coo, Ian Millen. Victims tend to be small, local product tankers, mainly working out of Singapore, Millen noted. [12/06/14]
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