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The Naninwa Maru 1

Armed pirates have raided a Japanese oil tanker in the waters off Malaysia and kidnapped three crew members, Malaysian maritime police said on Wednesday.

The attack took place in the Malacca Strait.

The tanker, Naninwa Maru 1, was leaving Singapore heading for Myanmar.

Six pirates approached the tanker in a speedboat and boarded the ship at 1.00 a.m. local time, Maritime Police Commander Abdul Aziz Yusof told Reuters.

The pirates pumped out more than half the 1.3 million gallons of diesel being carried by the tanker.

Two pirate vessels were standing by to load the stolen diesel.

Approximately a quarter of the world’s seaborne oil trade passes through the Malacca Strait annually.