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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Malaysian police intercept hijacked cargo ship - hijacked 3 years ago

Initial report here:
Malaysian police commandos have successfully intercepted a hijacked cargo ship and detained its crew.

After a 17 hour chase through the busy Malacca Strait, maritime police officers boarded the moving MV Paulijing and detained 20 Chinese nationals on board.

The Malaysian-owned cargo ship, which was originally named MV Natris, was hijacked in November 2002 in Indonesian waters off Batam island near Singapore.

The ship was heading from India to Vietnam with a cargo of soya bean when it was intercepted.

More detail here:
The Malaysian marine police Tuesday detained a Belize-registered merchant ship and arrested 20 Chinese crew including the captain on suspicion that the vessel was that of MV Natris reportedly hijacked and went missing three years ago.

Marine Police Commander SAC I Abdul Rahman Ahmad from the Bukit Aman police headquarters told reporters that the 567-tonne vessel "MV Paulijing" was stopped at 3.20 am in an operation involving the special operations force about 9 nautical miles off Kukup, Pontian.

Police believed that MV Paulijing, laden with soy beans and vinegar, was Panama-registered MV Natris that had been repainted as their shape, weight and other characteristics were the same, he said at the Southern Region Marine Police Headquarters in Tampoi.

MV Natris was reportedly hijacked and went missing in Batam waters, Indonesia on Nov 17, 2002.

Abdul Rahman said the marine police went into action to track down the vessel after being informed of its presence in Malaysian waters at about 9 am last Monday.

It was on its journey from Khandra, India to Ho Chi Minh port, Vietnam, and was spotted cruising at 10.8 knots in Port Klang waters at 10.30 am when the marine police ordered the captain to stop.

UPDATE: Some more details of the recapture here.

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