Pirates Attack Product Tanker in Malacca Straits
A small product tanker, the Singapore registered Ocean Energy, was hijacked and had its fuel cargo stolen as it passed through the Malacca Straits over the weekend.
The 6500dwt tanker, owned by Ocean Tankers, a subsidiary of Hin Leong Trading was carrying a cargo shipment from Singapore to Myanmar when it was boarded by eight hostiles. The attack took place around 2130 hrs the night of May 2. Upon boarding the vessel, the perpetrators locked the captain and crew members away, then forced the ship to anchor off Port Dickson. A barge subsequently came alongside the vessel and offloaded 2,023 tons of gas oil.
The pirates damaged the Ocean Energy’s communication systems and stole money and cellphones from the ship’s crew as well as the vessel’s Iridium satellite phone.
No one was injured in the attacked and the pirates left the vessel around 0430 hrs the next morning. The Ocean Energy was able to make contact with its home port and began its return an hour later.
This incident marks the fifth fuel siphoning attack since the beginning of the year, and it is the second time in a year that an Ocean Tankers’ vessel has been attacked. Back in September 2014 a similar hijack occurred aboard the Ocean Osprey with assailants stealing money and personal efforts from crew members.