Viet­nam to hand over tanker hi­jack­ers to Malaysia

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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. –

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