Oil platform crew reports possible pirate attack off Malaysia's Sabah

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - An oil and gas supply ship has raised an alert on the possibility of pirates operating close to an oil field about 120km northwest of Labuan, Sabah.

However, Malaysian enforcement officials have yet to find any suspicious activity in the area after the crew of MV Armada Tuah sent out an alert signal on seeing four small boats tailing them as they left the oil field in Kikeh waters northwest of Sabah at about 11am Thursday (April 28).

A picture of the supply boat, purportedly being tailed by three boats, has been making its round in the social media since late Monday.

Malaysian agencies combing the area have not spotted any unusual activity in the high seas close to the oil and gas platform.

When contacted by The Star Online, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency director-general Maritime Admiral Datuk Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar confirmed that they received a report on the purported incident.

"We have already sent our ships and so far we are still checking who they are (the boats that were tailing them),'' he said.

He said there was no reason to worry as "everything is safe and sound'' and the supply ship had been escorted back to Labuan.

On the identity of the people seen by crew tailing them, Ahmad Puzi said they have screened the area and "found nothing."

"Let us do our job, let us not jump the gun,"' he added.

The ship's crew, who were heading back to shore from the oil platform, noticed four fast craft tailing them and a mother ship was seen a distance away.

The crew immediately returned to the oil rig and MMEA sent out air and patrols to the area but could not spot the boats.