PETALING JAYA: A Malaysian-flagged oil tanker was hijacked off the Peninsular Malaysia's east coast, with some of its bounty siphoned off by unknown pirates on Thursday.
An International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) report said that the ship was boarded by armed men just 14km southwest of Pulau Aur near Mersing at about 12.15am Thursday.
"They took hostage all crew members, altered course and sailed the vessel until it rendezvoused with another vessel into which part of the oil cargo was transferred and stolen," it said on its Commercial Crime Services page.
Before leaving, the pirates stole items belonging to the ship and its crew. They also damaged its radios.
The report added that the crew was safe and the ship sailed to a safe port.
A Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) official confirmed the incident to The Star and identified the ship as the Orkim Victory.
"Personal belongings ie. money, laptops and handphones were stolen.
"The ship safely arrived (in) Kuantan at 7pm yesterday (Thursday)," said MMEA C3i (Command, Control, Communication and Information) director Capt (Maritime) Hamid Mohd Amin.
He added that there were 18 crew members on board at the time, and that they were safe.
The pirates, Hamid said, fled to Pulau Matek in the Anambas Islands region, Indonesia.
Hamid said the Indonesian Coast Guard was told of the matter and that the MMEA was investigating the case.
Maritime news portal IHS Maritime 360 said the ship was sailing from Sungai Udang in Malacca to Kuantan.
In an April 21 ICC report, more than half of piracy and armed robbery incidents from Jan to March 2015 took place in Asean waters.An ICC piracy and armed robbery map on its website showed that three other incidents, including two successful hijackings, took place in waters off Mersing's coast this year.