The Vietnam Marine Police said officers on two patrol vessels apprehended all the 11 suspects at 22h45 of 22nd Nov. 2012, about 35nm southeast of Vung Tung on the 1,125dwt tanker MD Sea Horse; the ship was formerly called Zafirah, with a different IMO number.
The vessel’s owner said he had lost communication with the crew on 20 November. Its last known location had been southeast of Con Son Island. The ship was finally detected again at about 0404 hours 22nd Nov. 2012.
The local Newspaper Dantri said: “From the statement made by the master of Zafirah, there were 11 pirates on the tanker, and they were armed with long knives and pistols”.
The Police thought the hijackers planned to sell the 320,173 liters of marine gas oil on the tanker.
Meanwhile, 9 crew – five Burmese and four Indonesians – were rescued by a Vietnamese fishing vessel; the pirates had released the mariners at sea on 21 November.
The crew has since been transferred to a Vietnam Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre’s search and rescue vessel and were reported to be in good condition.
The tanker was built in 1991 and is owned and operated by EA Marine Services.