There has been a spike in piracy around Malaysia recently, with several incidents occurring in a short time span.
Masked assailants hijacked a cargo ship on is way to deliver supplies and wages to another vessel out at sea. They intercepted the vessel 10 miles off Kota Kinabalu, a city on the northwestern coast of Malaysia.
The target vessel was carrying $22,900 in cash. The pirates also stole items from the boat, such as communications equipment and personal belongings of the crew, totaling another $1500. Their overall score was approximately the equivalent of $24,400 USD.
There was another incident only a few days prior to this one. This incident occurred just off the coast of Labuan, an island in the same northwestern coastal region of Malaysia. In thie attack, an offshore supply boat was robbed of roughly $4,500 by pirates.
Malaysian maritime security authorities are now on high alert because of the back-to-back incidents in such a small area. They believe the attacks may be linked, and are seeking information about the band of pirates who may have committed them.
This is a worrisome sign because the western coast of Malaysia has been relatively pirate-free in recent times. It’s usually the eastern coast that sees the problem, and that’s where most vessels receive official warnings to be wary of robbers and terrorists on the water.