On May 8, the ReCAAP ISC received information on the 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 12 hours and the ship did not respond to the company’s attempts to contact the ship.

Hai Soon 12, 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.

Tanker HAI SOON 12 hijacked off Pulau Belitung, Indonesia; The ship released, pirates arrested

Tanker Hai Soon 12 - Image: mgklingsick

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.

Two TNI-AL ships were despatched to locate Hai Soon 12, who maintained her course towards Bawean Islands until on May 8 at about 22:11hrs, she altered course tracking eastwards.

On May 9 at about 14:30hrs, the TNI-AL ships intercepted and boarded Hai Soon 12. Nine perpetrators were found on board the ship and were arrested. All 21 crew members of Hai Soon 12 were safe and not injured. The cargo was also found to be intact. The ship was reportedly renamed to “AISO”.

Initial investigation revealed that on May 7 at about 20:45hrs, nine perpetrators climbed up the poop deck of Hai Soon 12 from a small boat in waters off Pulau Belitung.

Tracking of tanker Hai Soon 12 on May 8-9 after hijacking off Pulau Belitung, Indonesia

The crew was 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.

This is the first attempted incident of hijacking of tanker for cargo oil theft in 2016. The last oil cargo theft occurred on board Joaquim on August 8, 2015. The failed attempt can be attributed to the regional cooperation and collaboration in information sharing and operational responses among ReCAAP ISC, IFC and the Indonesian authorities; leading to the arrest of perpetrators and cargo remained intact. Most importantly the crew was safe and not injured.

Source: ReCAAP