Pirates Steal Palm Oil from Barge off Malaysia
A group of pirates hijacked a barge carrying crude palm kernel oil (CPKO) on June 2nd off Mukah, Sarawak, East Malaysia, stealing 3,000 liters of the CPKO.
On 3 Jun 16, piracy watchdog the ReCAAP ISC received information from the Sarawak and Sabah Shipowners’ Association (SSSA) that the owners lost communication with the towing barge Ever Dignity and the tug boat Ever Prosper on June 2nd.
Another of the company’s tug boats, Ever Master, sighted a tug boat and barge alongside the said ships that were apparently hijacked with unknown perpetrators pumping out the CPKO.
Once informed of the incident, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) dispatched two ships from Bintulu, Sarawak to the location, which was estimated 35 nm away from Bintulu.
The MMEA reported that the perpetrators had robbed the crew and pumped out the palm oil the night before.
The 10 crew members were said to be safe, with one seafarer having suffered injury to one of his eyes. He is believed to had been punched by the perpetrators.
The MMEA ships escorted Ever Prosper and Ever Dignity into Bintulu port in the early morning of June 4th, and the injured crew was brought to the hospital. Investigation is ongoing, according to ReCAAP.
This is the second hijacking incident aimed at oil cargo theft in 2016.
As World Maritime News reported, the first oil cargo theft occurred on board Hai Soon 12 on May 8th, 2016 off Pulau Belitung, Indonesia.
The oil theft was foiled by the Indonesian authorities who intercepted and boarded Hai Soon 12, rescued the crew, arrested the perpetrators and recovered the full cargo.