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Damir Kaletovic

Damir Kaletovic

Damir Kaletovic is an award-winning investigative journalist, documentary filmmaker and expert on Southeastern Europe whose work appears on behalf of Oilprice.com and several other news…

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Malaysian Coast Guard Seizes Oil Tanker From Pirates

The Malaysian coast guard has apprehended 10 pirates who seized an oil tanker carrying $1.7 million in diesel, in the fourth attack by pirates in Malaysian water this year so far.

The Thai-flagged tanker disappeared from tracking systems yesterday afternoon, and was discovered early Thursday morning, at which time Malaysian maritime forces flew commando units in by helicopter to rescue the ship, according to media reports.

Ten of the Indonesia pirates were reportedly arrested on board the oil tanker, while three hijackers managed to flee on a small boat that has continued to elude the Malaysian coast guard.

No one was wounded in the operation. The Thai-flagged ship has a crew of 14 Thai citizens.

In mid-August, another mysterious case involving a missing Malaysian oil tanker that was later found near the Indonesian island of Batam remained unsolved. Initially, authorities believed that the oil tanker, which was transporting about 900,000 liters of diesel, had been hijacked. However, reports later emerged that it fell off the radar over a “misunderstanding” between the crew and operator.

While overall, the number of pirate attacks in the South China Sea has been dropping in recent years, there is growing concern that piracy on the high seas could attract ISIS.

Pirate attacks targeting vessels in Asia are said to have fallen 24 percent year on year from January to July, but the passage between Malaysia and the Philippines is considered a new danger zone.

Asia’s most dangerous waterway is now believed to be the Sibutu Passage between Malaysia and the Philippines, with Islamic terrorist groups threatening maritime trade. Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines have launched joint patrols in the passage as a response to this rising threat.

Related: Is This Country About To Revive Biofuels?

Hellenic Shipping news reports three such incidents from June to August this year, and while they were smaller in scale and less organized, there is growing concern that a new modus operandi is being developed.

According to reports citing the Indonesian Defense Department, 1,200 “ISIS-inspired” militants are operating in the Philippines, and could move to other ASEAN countries via sea connections in under 24 hours.

By Damir Kaletovic for Oilprice.com

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  • Aquila on September 08 2017 said:
    From the article:
    "Asia’s most dangerous waterway is now believed to be the Sibutu Passage between Malaysia and the Philippines, with Islamic terrorist groups threatening maritime trade."
    "According to reports citing the Indonesian Defense Department, 1,200 “ISIS-inspired” militants are operating in the Philippines, and could move to other ASEAN countries via sea connections in under 24 hours."

    The South China Sea (SCS) is the conduit for China's inward & outward maritime trade worth more than a USD3 Trillion! AND growing! This choke point, if applied, can derail China's economy which is vital for the survival of China itself! If businesses are adversely affected in a major way in China, the people will probably revolt, which will will have adverse consequences & may even lead to the breakup of China!

    So who can or will threaten this passageway? The militant Muslims in South Philippines, South Thailand, East Malaya & Northern Sabah with reinforcements from the Indonesian Archipelago! I call this the SCS Militant Muslim Triangle (taking South Thailand & East Malaya as contiguous and the same for the same for South Philippines & North Sabah)! As proven off the coast of Somalia, motivated Jihadi$ts with speedboats, guns, grenade launchers & maybe suicide bombers with explosive vests can create havoc despite countermeasures & naval escorts! Now who can fault China for preemptively & aggressively securing this very vital but vulnerable trade passage? It is a very serious matter of national survival!

    You heard of this from me first! Use with attribution please!

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