3.7 million liters of fuel taken from hijacked tanker; crew unharmed


CHONBURI, 3 June 2014 – The captain of Orapin 4 oil tanker, which returned to Thailand on Sunday night after an ordeal with pirates near Indonesian waters, gave his account to the police in Chonburi province on Monday, detailing the hijack.

The Water Police in Chonburi yesterday examined the oil tanker, which was docked in Mu 1 of Thung Sukhla sub-district in Siracha district. Officials confirmed the captain’s account that all communication equipment on the ship had been destroyed.

Thiwa Saman, the ship’s captain, told police that the hijack occurred at about 2 am on Wednesday, May 28, while the ship was in international waters and about 19 nautical miles from Indonesian waters. About 8-10 armed pirates boarded the tanker and tied up all 14 crew, before proceeding to the control bridge. According to the captain, the pirates took more than 10 hours to transfer the 3.7 million liters of diesel fuel from the tanker into another ship. The pirates took all valuables belonging to crew members but did not harm any of them. The pirates also destroyed all communication equipment on board before they fled. They reportedly left just enough diesel fuel for the tanker to return to Thailand.

The captain has previously been caught before in another hijack, involving a different ship belonging to the same company, the police said.