As unbelievable as it sounds, an oil tanker under the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has gone missing off Tanjung Piai, Johor. Yup, it happened.
According to MMO, the oil tanker was first detained by a team of MMEA agents at 1.15am on Friday during the Ops Satria Selatan. It was reported that eight Indonesian sailors were arrested and locked up at the MMEA’s southern region headquarters in Johor Bahru.
Meanwhile, the vessel was impounded for offences under the Merchant Shipping Ordinance (MSO) 1952. It was anchored at the location and placed under the custody of MMEA.
However, the Jakarta-registered tanker was shockingly found to be missing by a monitoring team during a routine check on Sunday afternoon.
“The vessel was earlier seized by an MMEA strike force at the same location where it was missing and was supposed to be under the agency’s guard.”
“The vessel, which was considered a case seizure and also documented evidence, may have been stolen by parties with vested interest,” said a source familiar with the case.
Another source told MMO that it’s unusual for such a huge vessel to just go missing, especially when it’s under the MMEA’s custody. Guys, we’re talking about a 45.45 metre-long and 550-tonne deadweight oil tanker here…
In the latest development, the MT Pratama 128 oil tanker has been recovered by the Indonesian navy near the coast of Pulau Rupat, Indonesia. Preliminary investigation revealed that it was the ship’s crew who snuck on the vessel and took off with it when the patrol team went back to the jetty.
However, there were no elements of piracy or hijacking involved in this incident, as reported by Harian Metro.
Honestly, things are going missing in Malaysia so often that it’s not funny anymore. Our government should seriously look into this matter, and do something about it.
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