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Pirates steal oil from Thai tanker hijacked off Malaysia

Published on Aug 29, 2014 3:19 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Armed pirates commandeered a Thai tanker off Malaysia's east coast and pumped out its cargo of oil, a maritime watchdog said on Friday, adding to a series of hijackings that has raised fears of a growing South-east Asian piracy menace.

The incident took place on Thursday near the Malaysian resort island of Tioman in the South China Sea as the tanker was travelling from Singapore to Thailand, the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre said.

The ship's crew were locked in the engine room as the pirates siphoned off the tanker's cargo of lubricant oil to another vessel, it said.

The ship and its crew - all unharmed - were released early Friday.

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