PIRATES BACK IN ACTION OFF SINGAPORE
INDONESIAN-speaking pirates boarded and robbed the crew of a Thai-flag products tanker at gunpoint in the Singapore Strait last Thursday.
The attack, reported by the Bangkok Post, ends months of inactivity by by pirates in the area. There had been hopes that increased and joint patrols by the naval forces of the region's littoral states may have suppressed piracy, at least in the Singapore and Malacca Strait.
The Patrawarin 2 was on passage from Rayong carrying 2,000 tonnes of A-1 jet fuel for Phuket when the six-strong armed gang boarded from a speedboat in the Straits of Malacca off Singapore on Thursday.
They threatened the five Thai crew members at gun point, handcuffed them and robbed them of a total of baht 600,000 (US$18,900) in cash and valuables. The ship's master, Pinit Ratanapan, was ordered slow down while the pirates ransacked the crew quarters
Capt Ratanapan, is quoted as saying the pirates spoke to the crew in English and communicated among themselves in Indonesian.