Industry » Compliance » Piracy Reports » Piracy Incident Report: Malaysia

Piracy Incident Report: Malaysia

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 A detailed report from Allmode Security, with regular updates on piracy activity in the region of Indonesia this year. Incidents include multiple hijacks, boardings and attempted boardings. Despite the increased patrolling and extra monitoring of this particular region, pirates are still managing to board slow moving vessels whilst underway. Allmode advise continued enhanced vigilance in this piracy hotspot. 

 

Piracy Incident Report: 502

Incident Type: Hijack
Area:38nm West of Pulau Langkawi, Malacca Straits.
Position: 06°14’N - 098°59’E
Date of Incident:15.08.15 REPORTED LATE
Time of Incident (LT): 2330
Information Source:IMB

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Five pirates, armed with rifles, attacked and hijacked a fishing vessel (KHF 1989) using a small speed boat. They then sailed towards Thailand’s territorial waters. The gang forced the crew off the vessel intending to hold it for ransom. On receiving information about the hijack from the Fisheries Department, the MMEA contacted with the Royal Thailand Marine Police, who launched a search. The fishing vessel was located at Taratao Island on 17.8.2015 and towed to Saturn, Thailand. On 19.8.2015, a MMEA vessel escorted the fishing vessel safely to Kuala Kedah.

Allmode Comment:

This is the furthest north hijacking of a vessel this year and the target, on this occasion, was not the cargo, but the vessel itself. This may represent a change in the modus operandi compared to previous incidents in the region and may suggest that this is a different gang, with an alternative motive. It would appear that they were unsuccessful on this occasion, which could put other vessels at risk, as they may well be seeking an alternative target in the near future. All vessels would be advised to transit at a distance from the Malaysian coast when entering or exiting the Malacca Straits and enhance their security vigilance. The gang will be targeting vessels that are easier to board, as they previously used a small speed boat. They are armed with rifles and should not be confronted. Report any suspicious sightings to the local authorities. 

Piracy Incident Report: 457

Incident Type: Suspected Hijack
Area: 17nm SW of Pulau Aur, Malaysia.
Position: 02°08’N - 104°27’E
Date of Incident: 11.06.15
Time of Incident (LT): Unknown
Information Source:Media ReCAAP

A Malaysia-registered product tanker, Orkim Harmony has been reported by their management company as having experienced a loss of communications. The company had been receiving hourly updates until the 11.06.15 AT ABOUT 2054 hrs. After this time, attempts to communicate with the vessel failed. The last known position was at the above position. Orkim Harmony is carrying 6,000 metric tonnes of ULG 95 (petrol) and has twenty two crew comprising Indonesians, Malaysians and Myanmar nationals on-board. The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the Indonesian Navy have reportedly deployed patrol boats to search for Orkim Harmony.

Allmode Comment:

If confirmed, this will be the third hijack of a vessel in the region this month and the second for the same company (Orkim Ship Management Sdn Bhd) see report 446 and 454. The local authorities are facing growing criticism for their lack of action regarding the increasing number of hijacks of product tankers, so much so that the Prime Minister of Malaysia has issued a statement ensuring that the government will deploy whatever it takes to locate the vessel (16 crew members are Malaysian). The MMEA have also forwarded a missing vessel report to Singapore’s Coast Guard and the Indonesian authorities, Badan SAR Nasional and Badan Keamanan Laut Republik Indonesia.

It is essential that all vessels, particularly the smaller product tankers, employ their own stringent security measures and remain extremely vigilant at all times, as the frequency of hijacks has increased enough to warrant enhanced measures. (See Allmode Advisory 051 www.allmode.org) 

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 Piracy Incident Report: 446

Incident Type: Hijack
Area: 8nm SW off Pu Aur, Malaysia
Position: 02°21’N - 104°22’E
Date of Incident: 04.06.15
Time of Incident (LT): 0015
Information Source: IMB

 Armed persons boarded and hijacked a Product Tanker whilst underway. They took all the crew members hostage, altered course and sailed the vessel until it rendezvoused with another vessel. Part of the fuel cargo was siphoned to this vessel. Before departing, the crew’s possessions and ship’s properties were stolen and all communication equipment was damaged. All crew are reported as safe. The vessel sailed on to a safe port.

Allmode Comment:

There have been three successful hijackings of Product tankers close to Pulau Aur so far this year and one further failed attempt. The pirate gangs are proving successful at having the local knowledge of the waters and the vessels that pass through this region. They are able to organise a rendezvous vessel to make a quick transfer of cargo and will generally restrain the crew until they have taken what they can carry and transfer the oil. The gangs will then damage the communication equipment, in order to give them the time to escape to the nearby islands. In this case, the authorities are aware that the gang escaped to the nearby Indonesian island of Pulau Matek.
There have been eight successful hijacks of Product Tankers in South East Asia this year, causing great concern to the shipping community, who will need to address the security of the smaller Product Tankers and put more stringent security in place or risk a rise in insurance premiums for these type of vessels transiting the region.
The local maritime security patrols would also be recommended to increase their activity away from the Singapore Straits and increase cooperation between littoral countries in the region regarding maritime security.

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Piracy Incident Report: 425

Incident Type: Hijack
Area: Around 188nm NW of Bruit Island,  Malaysia
Position: 05°22’N - 109°33’E
Date of Incident: 15.05.15
Time of Incident (LT): 0600
Information Source: ReCAAP

At around 0600 LT the MT Oriental Glory was transiting from Labuan in eastern Malaysia, heading towards Tunjung Manis, Sarawak. Whilst on route, approximately thirty pirates boarded the ship. The ship was then taken to the above coordinates, where it would appear that the cargo of fuel was siphoned to a second tanker that had come alongside. Around 2,500 MT of fuel was stolen. The pirates left the ship once this was complete and the vessel is now back in the hands of the crew and heading towards Tanjung Manis, where it will be investigated.

Allmode Comment:

This is the second time that this particular vessel has been hijacked for its fuel, with the first incident occurring in July 2014. It is also the eighth incident of fuel siphoning in the region this year.
The stealing of fuel oil is becoming the biggest problem in the region, with large pirate gangs able to carry out operations in a short space of time, against specific vessels that have been selected for their cargo. The gangs either have technical equipment that will enable them to pin- point a particular vessel, or potentially inside information that allows them access to transit routes and times, to enable them to arrange for a second tanker to siphon into. Whichever the case, all small tankers transiting this region (which is difficult to patrol, due to its sheer size) will be at risk of attack. Allmode would recommend that information given out regarding cargo and route be kept to a minimum and only shared amongst key personnel who have undergone due diligence by the management.

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Piracy Incident Report: 416 

Incident Type: Boarding
Area: Around 16nm WSW of Pontian District, Johor, Malaysia
Position: 01°24’N - 103°08’E
Date of Incident: 06.05.15 REPORTED LATE
Time of Incident (LT): 1730
Information Source: IMB

Unauthorised persons boarded an anchored general cargo ship, whilst it was engaged in bunkering and store replenishments. They stole ship’s property and escaped unnoticed. Further investigation revealed that the ship’s engine spares had been stolen. 

Allmode Comment: 

Thieves are more likely to board a vessel and capitalise on situations where the crew are distracted and engaged in other activities and not maintaining a deck watch. Therefore a wandering patrol should always be made available even during cargo operations in high risk anchorages. It is recommended to always have any stores including engine spares secured in the deck stores. It is also recommended to use fully encapsulated padlocks, that cannot be opened with a hammer or bolt crops. 

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Piracy Incident Report: 407 

Incident Type: Hijack
Area:Around 11 nm SSE of Tanjung Tuan, Malacca Straits
Position:02°14’N - 101°56’E
Date of Incident: 02.05.2015
Time of Incident (LT): 2130
Information Source: :IMB

A Product Tanker was hijacked by eight men, armed with firearms. They held the 3rd officer at gunpoint, and took control of the bridge, they damaged all communication equipment, locked the Master in a cabin and all other crew members in the ship’s hospital. The hijackers then sailed to position 02:19.3N - 101:40.4E (around 13nm SSW of Port Dickson, Malaysia). At this position they anchored and another tanker came alongside and transferred the cargo. Before leaving the tanker, they stole ships stores, Satellite phone and crew’s personal belongings and cash. All of the crew are safe, the Master managed to inform the owners the next day. The Malaysian Authority boarded the tanker en route to Singapore for further investigation.


Allmode Comment: This is the fifth hijack for the purpose of stealing the fuel so far this year in South East Asia. It is also the second incident for this particular company and raises serious concerns for security on Product Tankers transiting the region. Allmode would highly recommend the use of armed security teams on-board all vessels transiting the region, as proven in other pirate areas, armed security is the best deterrent against attacks and hijacks. It is suggested that pirate gangs in the region have access to inside information on the types and cargo of vessels passing through the region and use public domain vessel tracking methods to target vessels of their choice. The information and opinions expressed in this report are the views of Allmode

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Piracy Incident Report: 398

Incident Type: Suspicious Approach
Area:Around 4nm East of Pulau Aur, Johor, Malaysia 
Position: 02°28’N - 104°26’E
Date of Incident: 21.04.2015 Reported late
Time of Incident (LT): 11.05
Information Source: :IMB

A nine metre long, light green coloured fishing boat with two outboard engines, approached a tanker whilst underway, from the stern. The Master raised the alarm, sounded the fog horn, increased speed, mustered the crew and took anti-piracy preventive measures, as the boat closed to within seven metres and tried to get alongside the tanker. It was noticed that there were seven men, armed with knives on-board the boat. Due to the increase in the speed, the boat was unable to keep up and moved away. The crew and vessel are safe.


Allmode Comment: This particular area is notorious for hijackings of Product tankers to siphon their cargo / fuel. The area is not very well patrolled and pirate gangs operate from the chain of Pulau islands.
It is essential that all vessels, especially tankers are well trained in anti-piracy procedures and use the most stringent security levels, preferably armed guards should be employed to deter the determined and well prepared pirates, who are usually armed with firearms, but can use long machetes as a weapon of choice.

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Piracy Incident Report: 395

Incident Type: Boarding
Area:Around 42nm North of Tioman Island, Malaysia 
Position: 03°36’N - 104°18’E
Date of Incident: 20.04.2015
Time of Incident (LT): 22.58
Information Source: :IMB

Armed pirates boarded a bulk carrier whilst underway. The pirates took hostage all crew members, and proceeded to steel all available cash, properties, documents and crews personal belongings before escaping. No injuries were sustained by any crew member and the incident was reported to the Vietnam Maritime Security Centre.

Allmode Comment:

This particular region has seen a steady number of hijacks and boarding’s occur so far this year. The pirate gangs are usually heavily armed and well informed. We would recommend that your information security is reviewed to mitigate the risks of any breach and all vessels must inform the relevant authorities if they suspect any suspicious activity either on their vessel or in their vicinity. Ship owners and managers are strongly advised to review the current level of security training that crews have received for vessels transiting within this region.

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Piracy Incident Report: 389

Incident Type: Boarding
Area:Sandakan Port Berth No. 4, Malaysia
Position:05°48’N - 118°05’E
Date of Incident: 03.04.2015
Time of Incident (LT): 13.00
Information Source: :IMB

Two robbers were seen boarding a general cargo ship at berth. The alarm was raised and the crew mustered. Seeing the crew’s response, the robbers escaped with stolen ship properties. Local Police boarded the vessel for investigation.

Allmode Comment: Although ports may be ISPS compliant and have a PFSO managing the security, not all ports may be to the highest of standards. It is therefore important that SSO’s evaluate ports at which they arrive in and set on board security procedures and MARSEC levels accordingly. Even in ISPS ports access control and deck watches are key to mitigating incidents such as robbery. Owners, managers and masters are advised to consider the current security training and provision that vessels have aboard. Please contact Allmode for more information on training and security services. 

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Piracy Incident Report: 334

Incident Type: Hijack
Area:Approximately 1 nm south of Tanjung Ayam, Malaysia
Position:  01°19.39’N 104°12.35’E
Date of Incident:29/01/2015
Time of Incident (LT): 1150
Information Source: :ReCaap

On 29th January 2015, the owner of a Malaysia-registered chemical tanker, the Sun Birdie, alerted the Malaysian enforcement Agency (MMEA) that they had lost contact with the vessel. The last contact with the vessel was the previous evening when the vessel was approximately 1 nm south of Tanjung Ayam, On the evening of the 29th, the MMEA intercepted the Sun Birdie and successfully recovered the vessel and its 11 crew members approximately 17.63 nm northeast of Tanjung Penawar, Malaysia. Seven perpetrators, who allegedly hijacked the vessel, were detained and two additional perpetrators that jumped over board were picked up by a passing ship and handed over to Malaysian authorities.

Allmode Comment:
The determination and commitment of the enforcement agencies within this region to clamp down on illegal maritime activities is clearly shown within this incident by their efficiency in dealing with the safe recovery of the vessel and its crew Timely reporting was key to the safe retrieval of this vessel and its crew and all vessels are reminded to report any suspicious activity to the local agencies as soon as possible.

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