Oil tanker MT Orkim Harmony arrives at Kuantan Port after hijackers fled

Oil tanker MT Orkim Harmony and 21 crew members arrived at Kuantan Port on Saturday morning, days after the vessel was hijacked while on its way from Malacca to the port.
Oil tanker MT Orkim Harmony and 21 crew members arrived at Kuantan Port on Saturday morning, days after the vessel was hijacked while on its way from Malacca to the port.PHOTO: ROYAL MALAYSIAN NAVY

KUANTAN - Oil tanker MT Orkim Harmony and 21 crew members arrived at Kuantan Port on Saturday morning, days after the vessel was hijacked while on its way from Malacca to the port.

A spokesman for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said the vessel arrived at the port at 7.50am and berthed at the Petronas Pier, Bernama news agency reported.

The tanker, carrying 6,000 metric tonnes of RON95 petrol worth RM21 million (S$7.5 million), lost communications with base at 8.57pm on June 11 at Tanjung Sedili, Kota Tinggi, in Johor. The vessel was later detected, repainted and renamed 'Kim Harmon'.

All the 22 crew members were rescued at about 2.30am on Friday following negotiations between the Royal Malaysian Navy and the hijackers, said the news agency. The hijackers subsequently fled from the vessel.

One crew member - a cook - had a gun shot wound in the thigh and was flown by helicopter to Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital (HUSM) on Friday for treatment, Bernama reported.

Local media quoted Malaysian navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar as saying that Vietnamese authorities had nabbed eight Indonesians suspected to be the hijackers. They were found off Tho Chu island in the Gulf of Thailand at about 6.30am on Friday.

The suspects reportedly told the Vietnamese authorities that their fishing boat had sunk. The Malaysian authorities were working with their Vietnamese counterparts to confirm the identities of the suspects.