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Oil Tanker Hai Soon 12 Rescued After Hijack, 9 Arrested

May 10, 2016 - 07:56:39 UTC

Oil Tanker Hai Soon 12 Rescued After Hijack, Suspects Arrested Off Indonesia

IN the first hijack of an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters in 2016, and since the hijack of MT Joaquim in Aug 2015, Cook Islands-flagged [ex-Kiribati-flagged] oil tanker, Hai Soon 12, was rescued by the Indonesian Navy, resulting in the arrest of nine suspected pirates.Hai Soon 12 - Photo: MarineTraffic

On 8 May 16, the ReCAAP ISC received information on its mobile app from a shipping company about the loss of communications with one of their ships, a Kiribati-registered oil product tanker, Hai Soon 12. The shipping company had lost communications with Hai Soon 12 for about 12 hours and the ship did not respond to the company’s attempts to contact the ship.

Hai Soon 12, with a crew of 20 and one passenger, was carrying 4,000 metric tons of Marine Gas Oil (MGO), had departed Singapore and was supposed to travel down via Sunda Straits to the Southern Ocean to conduct high seas bunkering / selling MGO to fishing vessels. However, the ship deviated from her planned route and travelled in a southeasterly direction towards Sulawesi instead.

Actions by Regional Authorities

Upon receipt of the information, the ReCAAP ISC immediately informed BAKAMLA, who in turn shared the information with the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL). The incident was also reported to the Information Fusion Centre (IFC), who worked closely with the shipping company to monitor the position of Hai Soon 12.

Oil Tanker Hai Soon 12 Hijack - Tracking

Two TNI-AL ships were despatched to locate Hai Soon 12, which maintained a course towards Bawean Island until on 8 May 16 at about 2211 hrs, she altered course tracking eastwards. Recovery of Ship and Arrest of Perpetrators.

On 9 May 16 at about 1430 hrs, the TNI-AL ships intercepted and boarded Hai Soon 12. Nine perpetrators were found onboard the ship and were arrested. All 21 crew members of Hai Soon 12 - the passenger and crew, made up of six men from Myanmar, two from South Korea, 11 from China and one from Singapore, were "safe and unharmed." The cargo was also found to be intact. The ship was reportedly renamed to “AISO”.

9 Suspected pirates detained - Photo: The Straits Times

It should be noted that as the owners failed to receive the updates from the Master, they reported the incident to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre who in turn reported and liaised with the Indonesian Authorities. The IMB PRC sent a broadcast to all ships to look out for the hijacked tanker. 

Initial Investigation

Initial investigations revealed that on 7 May 16 at about 2045 hrs, nine perpetrators climbed up the poop deck of Hai Soon 12 from a small boat in waters off Pulau Belitung. The crew were tied up in the mess room. Arrangements were overheard stating the intent to sell the MGO in the night. Hai Soon 12 has been detained and is being escorted to Surabaya for further investigation.


ReCAAP points out that this is the first attempted incident of hijacking of a tanker for oil cargo theft in 2016. The last oil cargo theft occurred on board Joaquim on 8 Aug 15. The failed attempt can be attributed to the regional cooperation and collaboration in information sharing and operational responses among the ReCAAP ISC, IFC and Indonesian authorities; leading to the arrest of perpetrators and cargo remaining intact. Most importantly the crew was safe and none were reported to have been injured.

Original source: ReCAAP ISC

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Submitted by Team@oceanuslive.org

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