23 June 2017 - The Thai flagged tanker C.P.41 was boarded at 21:00LT by six men armed with guns and knives approximately 33nm ENE of Kuantan, Malaysia. The tanker was en route from Singapore to Songkhla, Thailand at the time, transporting 3.8 million litres of diesel oil. The perpetrators who spoke Bahasa locked the crew in the engine room, while the ship’s engineer was forced to siphon 1.5 million litres of diesel to the pirate vessel. They destroyed the ship’s ship security alert system (SSAS) and stole valuables. The crew was released at 04:20LT on 24 June 2017.
The Thailand Maritime Enforcement Coordination Centre (THAI-MECC), the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the Information Fusion Centre and the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) are cooperating in the hunt for the pirate ship.
All tanker hijackings in Southeast Asia take place in the Malacca Straits and its approaches, with the hotspot to the east of Johore, Malaysia. 30 hijackings were reported since August 2013. C.P. 41 was hijacked on the outer limit of this pattern. The last time a tanker was hijacked in Southeast Asia before the recent incident was in May 2016 when the Hai Soon 12 was hijacked off Pulau Serutu, Indonesia. The arrest of nine suspects interrupted pirate operations in this area.
According to Karsten von Hoesslin, his confidential informants confirmed that the pirate ship involved in the C.P.41 hijacking has been operating in and out of the Singapore EOPL for the past few years. It is a phantom ship that changes flags from Equatorial Guinea to Mongolia regularly. Stolen fuel is blended with fuel from a legit source for onward sale. The pirate kingpin and fixer operate from Singapore.
Feedback Abu Sayyaf Hostages
6 June 2017 - Roy Borja Ramos escaped from Abu Sayyaf custody. Locals informed the military of a kidnap victim in Talipao Town, Philippines. Ramos was found in an abandoned house. Ramos was one of four fishermen kidnapped from the fishing boat, Ramona 2 in the Celebes Sea, Philippines on 20 December 2016.
16 June 2017 - Hoang Vo the second mate of the MV Royal 16 escaped Abu Sayyaf custody as government forces approached the Abu Sayyaf base in Basilan Province.11 The Bulk Carrier, MV Royal 16 was boarded by ten armed men on November 2016 approximately 10nm NNE of Basilan Islands, Philippines. They kidnapped six crew members.
Eight incidents of piracy and robbery of vessels were reported in Southeast Asia in June 2017. Four robberies and one attempted robbery were reported at Indonesian Anchorages and a robbery was reported at Batangas Inner Anchorage, Philippines. A tugboat was also robbed in the vicinity of the Sarangani Strait, Philippines while underway. A tanker was hijacked off Malaysia.
3 June 2017 - The Bulk Carrier, MV Harvester was boarded from two boats by eight robbers while at anchor at buoy no 2, Belawan Port, Indonesia. Crew members were tied up while the robbers stole seven 25 litre cans of paint. The Western Fleet Quick Response Team (WFQR) arrested two of the robbers on 4 June 2017. The suspects Bambang, 30, and another are both from Kampung Nelayan Seberang, a poor fishermen's village across the river from Belawan Port. One motorized boat, four 25 litres cans of paint and four rolls of cable were confiscated during the arrest.
5 June 2017 - Tug 308 towing barge, SSL Barge 08 was boarded by 20 men armed with firearms, approaching in five motor bancas in the vicinity of the Sarangani Strait, Davao Occidental, Philippines. They stole several gallons of fuel, paint and half a sack of rice. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) immediately reacted to the incident. While they where on the tug a motor banca with two unarmed robbers came alongside on the other side of the tug. They were arrested and handed to the Philippine National Police (PNP) for further investigation.
7 June 2017 - The tanker, Akrotiri was anchored 8nm North of Tg Berakit, Bintan Islands, Indonesia when in was boarded by two robbers. They threatened the AB with a knife. The duty officer raised the alarm and the robbers fled with ship’s properties.
Independent Global Incident Analysis