Pi­rates nabbed by mil­i­tary

Bangkok Post - - ASEAN -

KUALA LUMPUR: Ten In­done­sian pi­rates who seized an oil tanker off the east coast of the Malay penin­sula were ar­rested by Malaysia’s coast­guard on Thurs­day, of­fi­cials said.

Com­mando units were rushed by he­li­copter to the Thai-flagged tanker, which was car­ry­ing 7 mil­lion ring­git (US$1.7 mil­lion) worth of diesel, af­ter it van­ished off track­ing sys­tems on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, Malaysian mar­itime of­fi­cials said.

They found the ship and a smaller boat 37 nau­ti­cal miles north­east of Pu­lau Teng­gol is­land at 2.05am lo­cal time, the coast­guard said in a state­ment.

Com­man­dos boarded the tanker while warn­ing shots were fired from the he­li­copter at the smaller boat when it tried to es­cape.

Ten In­done­sians were ar­rested on board the tanker, known as the MT MGT1, which was es­corted to Kuala Tereng­ganu in the state of Tereng­ganu.

An at­tempt by the coast­guard to stop the smaller boat from flee­ing failed as the he­li­copter was run­ning low on fuel and had to re­turn to the main­land.

Three pi­rates es­caped in the smaller boat, and the coast guard is con­tin­u­ing the search for them.

The tanker’s crew of 14 Thai cit­i­zens and the coast guard com­man­dos were un­harmed, the state­ment said.

A re­port by the In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Bureau said there were three at­tacks by pi­rates in Malaysian wa­ters in the first half of this year.

Al­though the num­ber of at­tacks off is­lands in the South China Sea has dropped sig­nif­i­cantly in re­cent years, ships were still ad­vised to re­main vig­i­lant, es­pe­cially at night, said the bureau.

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