Further details on last week’s hijacking of the Thai-registered Orapin 4 are beginning to emerge from the region.
The Orapin 4, carrying 3,377 metric tonnes of diesel, went missing on May¬†27th as she transited from Singapore to Pontianak, Indonesia. The ship’s owners, Petroleum Thai Tanker, were unable to contact the ship on May 28th and her last known position was 01:14.68N-03:10E, around 3.64nm north of Pulau Batam.
Media reports now suggest that the tanker was boarded by up to 10 pirates armed with guns and knives at around 2am on Wednesday 28th, somewhere in the Malacca Strait. The robbers then transferred the valuable diesel cargo to a second tanker and left the Orapin 4 after disabling communications equipment at 9pm that night.
The region has experienced a spate of incidents in the last few weeks, leading many observers to suggest that piracy and maritime crime is on the increase.