The world’s most pirated waters
Examining MGO hijacking in S. E. Asia.
Crime on the high seas: The world’s most pirated waters
SINGAPORE — The Ai Maru steamed alone under night skies on June 14 when a speedboat slipped in from the darkness and overtook the tanker about 30 miles off the coast of Malaysia. At 9:15 p.m., seven men with handguns and knives clambered up over the side, smashed through doors, tied up crew members at gunpoint and bashed the Ai Maru’s communications equipment.
The attackers stripped the 13 crew members of their personal belongings, locked them in a room and spent the next hours getting to the real work at hand: stealing the cargo. A second tanker, this one piloted by more pirates, pulled alongside. The maritime robbers siphoned a total of 620 metric tons of marine gas oil from Ai Maru to their own ship.
At 5 a.m., when naval and coast guard vessels arrived at the Ai Maru, dead in the water with its lights glowing, the pirates were long gone. Their total haul, at black market fuel prices, came in at about $550,000.
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