SINGAPORE: Pirates on sampans struck in the Singapore Strait again, targeting a barge pulled by the tug boat Kim Hock Tug 9 twice in five hours.
While the pirates did not confront the crew members, they were able to escape with several pieces of scrap metal.
In an incident alert on Sunday, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia’s Information Sharing Centre said that the same barge, which was laden with scrap metal, was targeted twice in the east-bound lane of the strait.
At about 11.30am, seven pirates were spotted on the barge being towed from Singapore to Vietnam.
When another tug boat approached the barge, the pirates fled in three sampans with some scrap metal.
A few hours later at about 4pm, seven pirates were again spotted on the same barge, and two Singapore Police Coast Guard craft were dispatched to intercept them.
But the pirates again evaded capture, escaping on their sampans with more scrap metal.
Both incidents happened about 20km apart in the waters between Singapore and Batam.
It is not known if the same group of pirates was involved in both. — The Straits Times/ANN