Vietnam will hand over 11 Indonesian pirates, who hijacked the Malaysian vessel Zafirah, to the Indonesian side at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City on April 13.

At a working session in the southern province of Ba Ria–Vung Tau on April 12, a representative from the provincial border guard informed a delegation of the Indonesian police and the Indonesian General Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City of the case, saying that after receiving a notice from the International Maritime Bureau in Malaysia, they immediately assigned a patrol unit to locate and apprehend the pirates.

Nine crew members from the hijacked ship were rescued , including four from Indonesia and five from Myanmar. During the investigation, the Vietnamese agencies also detected a further three people involved in the piracy, two of whom are Indonesian citizens.

Col. Guntur Setyanto from the Indonesian Police High Command said the culprits will be punished in accordance with Indonesian law, adding that Indonesia hopes to receive assistance from Vietnamese relevant agencies during the investigation process.

While meeting with the detained men at Border Guard Station 518, the Indonesian Consul General in HCM City Rachmaida Ginting thanked the Vietnamese agencies, especially the provincial border guards for looking after them.

On November 22 last year, Vietnam’s maritime police arrested 11 people on board a ship called Sea Horse, 40 nautical miles off Vung Tau province. It was suspected the vessel was in fact the hi-jacked Malaysian ship Zafirah.

The Zafirah crew, who were rescued at sea by Vietnamese ships, confirmed the police’s suspicions. Zafirah had been painted another colour and renamed.-VNA