Pirates Caught Siphoning & Selling Bunker Fuel from Hijacked Ship Off Malaysia

Published Nov 19, 2012 12:50 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) recently foiled an attempt by six pirates from syphoning off and selling bunker fuel from a hijacked vessel in local waters.

MMEA officials noticed uncommon ship-to-ship activity between MT Scorpio and MT Sea Jade. As a nearby MMEA patrol boat started to move towards the two vessels, six masked men were seen escaping in a wooden boat equipped with a high-powered engine, which was next to MT Scorpio.

Further investigations aboard the MT Scorpio revealed that the vessel had been hijacked, and all 12 crewmembers were tied up. Three of the men had been injured as a result of the pirates attacking them; they were also robbed of personal belongings including cash, laptops, and phones.

The assailants left six machetes onboard the ship, one for each of them assumingly. One pirate was also reportedly armed with a gun and the group ransacked the entire place. Reports state that the vessel had been hijacked the previous day.

According to Ship & Bunker, fuel-siphoning activity was detected and witnesses indicated that the pirates impersonated crew members of MT Scorpio and offered to sell fuel to MT Sea Jade at a below-market price. The crew onboard the MT Sea Jade is believed to have a possible connection with the pirates and all 12 crew members were detained to aid in the investigation.

The six pirates were believed to be members of an organization with a vast network in monitoring vessel movement along the Straits of Malacca, especially off the west coast of Johor.