Tanker Freed from Hijackers off Indonesia, Nine Arrested
The Indonesian Navy has retrieved an oil tanker that had been hijacked by pirates off Borneo arresting nine suspects, all Indonesians, who reportedly had intended to steal and sell the ship’s oil.
The 20 crew members and one passenger of the ship, identified as the MV Hai Soon 12, have been rescued and unharmed, Navy spokesman Edi Sucipto is quoted as saying by local media.
The ship is reported to be carrying some 50,000 gallons of oil.
On 8 May, the Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF) Ops Centre of the Singapore Navy received information that an oil tanker, Hai Soon 12, lost communications while transiting through the Java Sea.
The MSTF notified the Indonesian Navy of the incident via the centre’s Indonesian International Liaison Officer (ILO).
According to Sucipito, the navy sent a patrol ship to pursue the tanker after it disappeared from the Automatic Identification System (AIS) while underway from Singapore to Dumai city. The ship then reappeared elsewhere transmitting a different vessel name, the KM Aiso, arousing suspicion.
The navy managed to locate the ship and board it, thwarting the planned oil theft.
The MV Hai Soon 12 is said to be flagged under the Cook Islands.
Based on the ship’s latest tracking data, the 1993-built tanker is stopped in Surabaya, Indonesia.
World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Singapore Navy