August 25, 2015 at 6:49 pm #13875AniaKeymaster
Incident Type : Hijacked
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
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.
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.
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