Pair nabbed after pirates attack Thai fishing vessel

Pair nabbed after pirates attack Thai fishing vessel

Malaysian authorities on Thursday recovered a Thai-flagged fishing boat and arrested two suspected pirates after the vessel was attacked and six of the crew were thrown into the sea off the coast of Satun.

Following a request by the Thai Marine Police Division to help locate the hijacked boat, Malaysian authorities spotted the vessel near Langkawi Island in Malaysia and nabbed two suspected pirates aboard the boat. Satun marine police have contacted Malaysian authorities about returning the boat, the Chok Bunmi 5, to Thailand, said Pol Lt Col Santiphong Phansawat, inspector of marine police station 3.

Police hope the two suspects will be extradited. The nationality of the suspected pirates is not yet known, but according to the crew, the suspects spoke a language similar to Thai.

The pair arrested on Thursday were among six armed suspects who attacked the vessel in a long-tailed boat, trawler owner Fadin Pongthae told police. They forced the boat to stop and ordered six of the crew to jump into the sea near Hin Takon Chet, about 1-2 nautical miles off Kok Lipe, in the Andaman Sea.

All six were later rescued and taken to Koh Lipe. After the hijacking, police say the pirates forced the boat's skipper to head towards Langkawi Island. The skipper, identified as Somphong Khongrak, was later ordered off the boat at Tarutao Island. He was later picked up by a passing fishing boat.

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