Vietnam to hand over tanker hijackers to Malaysia
A VIETNAMESE court agreed to hand over to Malaysia eight Indonesians who were arrested last year on suspicion of hijacking a Malaysian-flagged oil tanker.
The men washed up on Vietnam’s southwestern Tho Chu Island on a lifeboat claiming to have encountered an accident at sea in June 2015.
They were taken into custody after officials discovered they were carrying large sums of cash, and were accused of hijacking the MT Orkim Harmony oil tanker.
The group spoke Indonesian, officials said, and both Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur requested to have the men extradited.
“The court accepted Malaysia’s proposal to extradite the men to Malaysia based on Vietnam’s mutual legal support laws with Malaysia,” state-run VNExpress news site said.
Court officials did not respond for a request to comment though the report said the suspects have 15 days to appeal the ruling.
MT Orkim Harmony was carrying around 6000 tonnes of petrol worth an estimated US$5.6 million when it was commandeered on June 11 last year en route from Malaysia’s western coast to the port of Kuantan.
The tanker’s 22 crew members were mostly unscathed except for a slightly injured Indonesian sailor who was treated for a gunshot wound to the thigh. –