Malaysian oil tanker hijacked, taken into Indonesian waters

BATAM, Indonesia, Aug. 17 (UPI) — A Malaysian oil tanker has been taken into Indonesian waters by hijackers, Malaysian officials said Wednesday.

The MT Vier Harmoni is loaded with about $400,000 of diesel oil and is off the Indonesian island of Batam, just southwest of Singapore, said Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar, the director general of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

A joint operation of Malaysian and Indonesian forces has been launched, Kahar said.

Pirate activity has dropped by 64 percent in 2016 according to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia, with the area around Batam seeing the biggest drop in activity.

Neither the number or identity of the hijackers has been announced.

The Vier Harmoni left Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia on Monday.

Hijackers likely siphoned the oil to sell it on the black market, Al Jazeera reported.

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