Missing Vietnamese tanker released after pirates siphoned off the cargo

The Vietnam-flagged oil tanker that was missing for a week has been found with about a third of its cargo siphoned off by pirates.

On 2 October, the Sunrise-689 tanker was carrying more than 5,200t of oil and 18 crew members when it went missing en route from Singapore to the Vietnamese port of Quang Tri.

According to the crew, a dozen men armed with guns and knives attacked and seized the ship, BBC reported.

"The pirates broke the communication system, robbed the oil and goods on board."

Vietnam Maritime Department director Nguyen Nhat was quoted by AFP as saying: "The pirates broke the communication system, robbed the oil and goods on board."

The tanker, owned by the Hai Phong Sea Products Shipbuilding, was scheduled to reach in Quang Tri port on 5 October.

The Sunrise-689 deputy captain Pham Van Hoang told the news agency that he believed the pirates to be Indonesian.

Hoang said: "They put knives on our throats and threatened to kill us if we resist."

According to the media reports, the pirates released the crew and the vessel about 90 miles off the southern tip of Vietnam.

South East Asia has witnessed a numbers of piracy attacks this year, especially on the Strait of Malacca. Sunrise-689 is the 12th tanker that has been seized by pirates in the South East Asia region since April this year.

International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre says 116 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships have been reported globally in the first six months of the year.