The Indonesian product tanker Vier Harmoni was hijacked in Malaysian waters. The vessel, carrying 900,000 liters of diesel, was attacked during the night by armed pirates in Malacca Strait on 30 nautical miles northwest off Batam island. The armed pirates succeeded to board the tanker and took control. They headed to Batam and entered in Indonesian waters. The AIS and all communication equipment was turned off, probably damaged. All the seamen were taken as hostages from the pirates and locked into the mess room. The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and local authorities are working to confirm the identity of the hijackers and to get in contact with them.
The Indonesian product tanker Vier Harmoni fled from Tanjung Pelepas port in Malaysia on Monday, carrying 900,000 liters of diesel with estimated value of 400,000 USD. The investigation for the root cause of the accident is under way.
The local authorities consider the attack, as piracy not wearing the hallmarks of the Philippine Muslim terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, which is responsible most of the hijacks during the last months.
“The vessel and its cargo are near the Indonesian island of Batam”, said the director general of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar. “We got in touch with our Indonesian counterparts this morning to launch a joint operation”, added he.
The product tanker Vier Harmoni (IMO: 9745627) has overall length of 54.00 m, moulded beam of 9.00 m and maximumd raft of 3.50 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 950 DWT and the gross tonnage is 497 GRT. The ship is owned by Jakarta-headquartered company Vierlines.