Petro-pirates plague SE Asia

The IMB has called the rise of petro-piracy “alarming”.

Petro-pirates plague busy Southeast Asia shipping lanes

By Andrew R.C. Marshall

(Reuters) – In the dead of night, as his fuel tanker sailed through the narrowest section of one of the world’s busiest waterways, Captain Thiwa Saman was wrenched from sleep and pitched into a waking nightmare.

Three men with guns and swords were banging on his cabin door. Other pirates had already stormed the bridge, seized the duty officer and smashed up the radio and GPS equipment.

Over the next 10 hours, mostly in daylight, the pirates held Thiwa and his 13 crew captive while siphoning off 4 million litres of diesel, worth around $2 million on the black market, to another tanker. They even re-painted the name of Thiwa’s ship to confuse anyone searching for it.

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