11 Pirates Sentenced to Prison for Tanker Hijacking
On Wednesday, a court in Malaysia sentenced 11 Indonesian pirates to sixteen years in prison for attempting to hijack the Thai tanker MGT 1. Six of them were also sentenced to five lashes of the cane.
On the night of September 6, 13 pirates boarded the MGT 1 at a location off Pulau Bidong, a small island near Malaysia's border with Thailand. According to RECAAP, the attackers arrived in two boats and were carrying arms. They forced the crew of the MGT 1 to come alongside a pirate "mother ship" and transfer over about 265,000 gallons of fuel.
The crew of the MGT 1 activated the tanker’s SSAS silent alarm, and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) dispatched a helicopter and two response vessels to respond. An MMEA boarding team rescued the tanker at 0600 hours on September 7 and arrested ten pirates. Three more escaped on a boat and are still at large. Police later arrested an 11th man, Heinrick Piterson Parera, 59, who is accused of masterminding the operation.
On Wednesday, less than two weeks after the hijacking attempt, the court found the ten captured pirates guilty and pronounced their sentences. Parera pled guilty to aiding and abetting the hijacking attempt.