Kuala Lumpur (dpa) – Suspected pirates killed a crew member on Vietnamese tanker off southern Malaysia, an international piracy watch group said Monday.
The incident occurred before dawn Sunday the tanker was boarded by an undetermined number of pirates off Aur Island in southern Malaysia, the International Maritime Bureau piracy reporting centre said.
One of the 16-member Vietnamese crew was shot in the head during the attack and was pronounced dead on arrival in a Singapore hospital, according to the centre.
The pirates took the crew’s property but did not touch the liquid asphalt cargo before fleeing
VP Asphalt 2, owned by Vietnam Petroleum Transport Co, had just left Singapore en route to Vietnam when the incident occurred.
In October, the bureau raised alarm over the growing number of pirate attacks in Southeast Asian waters, noting that six vessels had been hijacked between July and September.
“Gangs of thieves armed with knives and guns are making Southeast Asian waters increasingly dangerous for small tankers carrying products such as gasoil or marine diesel oil,” it said.