A South Korean kamsarmax has been attacked by robbers near the Singapore Strait, South Korean officials have confirmed.
The 81,100-dwt CK Bluebell (built 2011) was boarded by armed pirates at around 04.25am on Monday about 100 miles from the entrance of the strait.
Officials at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said $13,000 was stolen during the raid as well as personal belongings, including mobile phones, clothes and shoes.
No casualties were reported from the attack, they said, noting some sailors sustained minor injuries, such as bruises, during their confrontations with the pirates.
The CK Bluebell was en-route to Incheon after departing from Brazil resumed its normal navigation after the attack, reported Yonhap news agency.
“Ordinary freighters navigate at a speed below 15 knots. But a speed boat operated by the pirates approached the freighter at a speed above 20 knots,” a ministry official said.
“Afterward, seven weapons-wielding pirates got on board and assaulted the sailors for about 30 minutes.”
News of the attack comes just days after the Singapore-based Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) reported a 32% year-on-year decline in piracy levels in the first half of 2019.