Malacca buccaneers

Step aside, Somalia: South-East Asia is the new piracy capital of the world.

Malacca buccaneers

EIGHT men armed with pistols and machetes boarded the Orkim Harmony, a tanker, in the early evening of June 11th. Carrying 6,000 tonnes of petrol—worth more than $5m at market prices—the ship was nearing the end of a voyage around the southern tip of Malaysia, from Malacca on the country’s west coast to Kuantan Port on its eastern one. The pirates restrained the crew and scrubbed three letters from the hull, crudely disguising the vessel with a new name, Kim Harmon. Then they headed north towards Cambodia, in search of a friendly port in which to siphon off her liquid cargo. When the ship was finally spotted seven days later, the hijackers warned away security forces by threatening to harm the hostages, then slipped away in a life boat with whatever loot they could grab. The crew escaped injury except for the cook, who was airlifted to hospital after being shot in the thigh.

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