Police and coastguards in the Vietnamese island of Tho Chu said they are interrogating eight foreigners suspected of hijacking the MT Orkim Harmony oil tanker last week.
A lifeboat carrying the suspects, whose nationalities have not been disclosed, arrived at the island at around 9 a.m. on Friday, authorities said.
The group of eight said that they were in distress.
Police say they are investigating into the case.
Earlier on Thursday night, authorities detected the missing 7,300 deadweight ton (DWT) oil tanker in Vietnamese waters, around 20 nautical miles from Tho Chu.
They asked an armed group of eight, who had allegedly hijacked and taken control of the Harmony since June 11, to surrender.
The group later used a lifeboat, fleeing from the tanker in the dark night.
Eight suspected pirates that hijacked MT Orkim Harmony tanker, who were said to be held in Tho Chu Island in Vietnam. Picture is taken from RMN chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar’s Twitter account. Photo: Bernama.
The Orkim Harmony is operated by Malaysia’s Orkim Ship Management. On board is a crew of 22 consisting of 16 Malaysians, five Indonesians and one Myanmar national.
Twelve of the crew were injured, and one was shot, after being attacked by the group, who were armed with guns and knives.
Reuters quoted Malaysian state oil firm Petronas as saying that the Harmony was carrying 6,000 metric tons of products from its Malacca refinery to Kuantan for distribution.
It said “all necessary measures are being taken to ensure undisrupted fuel supply to consumers in the East Coast region.”
The Orkim Harmony was hijacked on June 11 about 30 nautical miles from the Johor port of Tanjung Sedili, carrying around 50,000 barrels of RON95 gasoline, in the second such incident in the same area this month.