Vietnamese Authorities Recapture Hijacked Tanker
The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) commends the actions of Vietnamese authorities for the recapture of a vessel hijacked and taken to their waters.
The Malaysian-owned tanker ‘Zafirah’ lost communication on 17 November 2012 whilst en route from Pasir Gudang to the port of Miri. Following an IMB alert, Vietnamese authorities were able to intercept the vessel and arrest 11 suspects on 22 November 2012. The vessel’s crew had been cast adrift the previous day and had been rescued by fishermen.
The vessel had been repainted and reflagged in an effort to conceal its identity.
This is the first case of a laden tanker being hijacked in the region for a number of years. Every year there are a few cases of tugs and barges being hijacked in south east Asia.
IMB Piracy Reporting Centre Manager Noel Choong commented: “The response by the Vietnamese authorities was positive and effective. The IMB hopes that in co-ordination with other law enforcement agencies in the region this incident will be further investigated and the criminals who set up this hijacking be held to account.”
The IMB recommends that all ships in the area maintain anti-piracy watches, especially at night, in Asian waters.
IMB, November 23, 2012