By M. Hamzah Jamaludin
KUANTAN: A merchant ship captain and his 14 crew members lost more than RM170,000 when a group of armed men robbed them about 12 nautical miles off Pulau Tioman early Thursday morning.
In the 3.45am incident, eight sea robbers who were armed with a pistol and knives, were believed to have used a speed boat to go near the MT 5G Asphalt 1 before climbing the ship.
Three of them entered the bridge and threatened the captain at gunpoint.
They later asked the captain and his crew members, who were all Myanmar nationals, to surrender their belongings and cash, including the money which was supposed top be distributed among the crew members as their monthly salary.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Kuantan enforcement head Maritime Captain Ab Aziz Idrus, who confirmed the case, said the suspects later fled in their speed boat.
He said MMEA received the report about 8.30am on Thursday and was now investigating the case.
“Inititial investigations show that the ship was registered at Port Klang and we are now trying to ascertain whether the suspects are locals or foreigners,” he said.