Hijacked Tanker Found, Pirates Arrested

ReCAAP reports that the Thai Marine Police and RTN have found the missing Srikandi 515 tanker and arrested eight suspects believed to be involved in the ship’s hijacking.

The Srikandi 515, an Indonesian-flagged product tanker, was hijacked on October 9th at around 0600 LT in Sampit waters, Indonesia, while en route to East Java carrying a cargo of palm oil. There have been suspicions that the pirates assumed the tanker was carrying marine gas oil. The pirates took control of the ship and headed NW.

The pirates blindfolded the crew and held them until October 22nd, when they forced the crew into a life raft and abandoned them in the middle of the sea. Fortunately, the next day, the crew was found by a Vietnamese fishing boat, which took them to Malaysia.

Reportedly, on November 27th, at around 1030 LT, the ship was found around 9nm off Narathiwat province, Thailand, by the RTN and Thai Marine Police. The ship’s name had been changed to read ‘Chong Li 2’ but the palm oil cargo was apparently intact. The ship has now been escorted back to Songkhla, Thailand for further investigation.

Locating the ship brings the saga to a close, although what the ship has been doing since the crew were abandoned is certainly something, which will be investigated.