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Protection Vessels International: Weekly Maritime Security Report

Malaysia: Armed assailants hijack fuel tanker, steal diesel off Kuala Terengganu

6 September

Some 13 armed pirates boarded a Thai-flagged product tanker, MGT 1, as it was underway from Rayong port and heading towards the Andaman Sea, 54 nm east of Kuala Terengganu at 2100 hrs local time on 6 September. The assailants arrived in two small boats before boarding the tanker and proceeded to force the crew to transfer 1 mn litres of diesel oil to a mother ship. The crew set off the Ship Security Alert System, prompting the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency to dispatch two ships and a helicopter, rescuing the tanker at 0400 hrs local time and apprehending 10 assailants while the other three fled on a boat. The tanker was then escorted to Kuala Terengganu for further investigation.

PGI Analysis:

There have been no reports on what happened to the stolen fuel and the mother ship, or whether Malaysian forces were able to recover the stolen cargo. Although cargo theft targeting oil tankers in the region has declined since its peak in 2014-2015, attacks persist in the region and tanker operators are advised to take precautionary measures to guard against hijackings. The latest attack marks the second incidence of oil theft in the region in 2017, after armed pirates stole 1.5 mn litres of diesel fuel from a Thai tanker off Kuantan in the same area in June.

Malaysia: Armed assailants target tanker near Aur Island

7 September

Four assailants armed with a gun and knives boarded an underway liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker while the ship was around 35 nm south-southeast of Aur Island. The assailants stole property from the crew and the ship before fleeing. No injuries or abductions were reported.

PGI Analysis:

Robbers typically target vessels at anchorages in Malaysia as they are easier to board, although the latest incident underscores the need for continued vigilance against armed robbers when underway in the region. Robbers are often armed in South East Asia and have increasingly resorted to violence to commit robberies on board vessels over the past year.

West Africa

Guinea: Seven robbers board vessel at Conakry

8 September

A vessel reported it was boarded by seven robbers armed with knives and crowbars at around 0316 hrs local time at Conakry anchorage. The robbers attempted to kidnap the master, but left after 15 minutes after stealing the ship’s property and personal effects. The vessel and crew were reported safe.

PGI Analysis:

Violent, armed robberies are sporadically reported both in the waters off Conakry and in the anchorage although many incidents are likely to go unreported. Criminals are often undeterred by basic security measures and vessels are advised to take additional precautions in Guinean waters. Robbers typically target crew’s personal belongings, although cargo thefts are occasionally reported.
Source: Protection Vessels International

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