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Slide 03

Malaysian Navy Frees Hijacked Oil Tanker

tankerAn oil tanker hijacked by pirates last week in the South China Sea has been released, the Malaysian Navy says.

It says eight hijackers fled the Orkim Harmony ship in a rescue boat late on Thursday. The vessel is now being escorted to a Malaysian port.

All 22 crew members were safe. However, one of them was slightly injured.

The tanker disappeared off the coast of Singapore on 11 June. Reports said it was taken by Indonesian pirates armed with pistols and machetes.

Malaysian navy ships and aircraft are now hunting the fleeing pirates, the authorities say.

It is the second ship hijacked in the area in the last few weeks. The International Maritime Bureau (IMB), based in London, has previously warned that piracy is on the rise in South East Asian waters.

After Orkim Harmony was hijacked, the pirates repainted the ship and changed the name to Kim Harmon.

But an air and sea search effort located the tanker near Vietnamese waters late on Wednesday.

Malaysian naval warships then shadowed the ship, urging the pirates to surrender.
Late on Thursday, the pirates fled, abandoning Orkim Harmony.

Malaysian Navy head Abdul Aziz Jaafar said on Twitter that all 22 crew on board were unharmed except an Indonesian cook who is “injured at the thigh due to a gun-shot by the robbers”.

Orkim Harmony is now proceeding to Kuantan Port escorted by a Navy ship and will arrive early on Saturday, Mr Jaafar added.

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