The Foreign Affairs Ministry was on Saturday still verifying whether eight pirates who allegedly hijacked a Malaysian tanker off Singapore are Indonesian citizens. The eight have been arrested by Vietnamese authorities.
"There is an indication they were Indonesian citizens, but it needs to be verified. We have already launched coordination with the Indonesian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. The result is expected to be available soon," Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi said as quoted by Antara news agency.
The eight were arrested by the Vietnamese authorities on Tochu Island in Vietnam.
The hijacked tanker, Retno said, employed five Indonesian seafarers. They survived the hijacking, although one was shot.
The tanker belonging to Malaysia Orkim Harmony was hijacked off Singapore on June 11. At least 22 crew members were imprisoned aboard the vessel before the hijackers escaped in the vessel's lifeboat.
The Indonesian Navy helped Malaysian authorities to handle the hijacking.