MT Vier Harmoni was not hijacked. Instead, its crew sailed it to Batam, Indonesia following a dispute with their employer. Pix courtesy of MMEA

KUALA LUMPUR: MT Vier Harmoni was not hijacked. Instead, its crew sailed it to Batam, Indonesia following a dispute with their employer.

Clarifying the matter this evening, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) chief Datuk Ahmad Puzi Abdul Kahar said preliminary investigations suggest that the drama rose following a disagreement between their crew and their employer, the ship’s owner.

This, he said, led to the crew taking matters into their own hands.

"MMEA and our Indonesian counterparts worked together in tracking the ship. We were later informed that the ship was safe in Batam.

“Initial investigations suggest that the crew members decided to sail the ship to Batam after a dispute between them and their employer," he said, adding that most of the crew are Indonesian.

Ahmad Puzi said MMEA have yet to obtain the full picture on the issue, but are conducting investigations. MMEA had earlier deployed its assets to search for the ship following fears that it had been hijacked.

Earlier today, MMEA had announced that the ship was feared to have been hijacked off the Kuantan coast. The vessel was en route to Kemaman, Terengganu when it deviated from its course.

The vessel was carrying 900,000 litres of diesel worth RM1.57 million.

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