KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A Thai oil tanker carrying diesel fuel went missing after it departed from Singapore on its way to Indonesia, an international anti-piracy watch group reported today.
The MT Orapin 4, with 14 crew aboard, lost contact with its owner after leaving port on May 27 en route to Indonesia’s Kalimantan province, the Kuala Lumpur-based International Maritime Bureau said.
“All we know at this time is it that it has gone missing,” bureau spokesman Noel Choong said when asked whether it was hijacked by pirates active in Southeast Asian waters. “We learnt about the incident on Tuesday.”
Ahmad Zahratuddin, duty officer of the IMB’s Piracy Reporting Center, alerted all ships to be on the lookout for the missing vessel.
“All ships are requested to keep a lookout for the missing tanker and to report to the IMP Piracy Reporting Center immediately if sighted,” he said.
The missing vessel, which was built in 1983, has a gross tonnage of 2,176 metric tons and was carrying 3,377 metric tons of automotive diesel fuel when it went missing.
Maritime Bulletin, an online shipping news portal said there is a very strong possibility the tanker was hijacked in a bid to steal its cargo.
In April, suspected pirates boarded Japanese oil tanker Naniwa Maru 1 in the Straits of Malacca and robbed the vessel carrying $2.5 million worth of diesel fuel.