|The Sunrise 689. — Photo nld
HA NOI (VNS)— Police confirmed that Vietnamese oil tanker Sunrise 689 was hijacked and robbed of a third of its oil load by a gang of armed pirates, causing losses of VND30 billion (US$1.4 million).
The tanker, which belongs to a shipbuilding company in the northern port city of Hai Phong, was carrying a crew of 18 people and over 5,000 tonnes of oil when it vanished from radar 40 minutes after leaving Singapore on October 2 for Quang Tri Province in central Viet Nam.
A week later, the ship and its crew were released and arrived in Quang Tri.
On Thursday, the police agency re-examined the tanker and found its black box, which is currently being inspected for clues, said Maj. Gen Ho Sy Tien, chief of the Police Department for Investigation of Social Order-Related Crimes.
The department will work with Interpol and a Singapore-based centre for Southeast Asia piracy prevention to hunt down the attackers, whose nationalities remain unknown.
Once sufficient evidence is collected, the police will initiate legal proceedings in accordance with Vietnamese law. Since April, there have been 11 other cases in Southeast Asia where tankers were hijacked and then released with the cargo removed, according to the International Maritime Bureau.
Viet Nam is now a member of the Southeast Asia and Asia conventions on countering piracy. — VNS