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Mysterious “ghost ship” might have been an illegal oil tanker, expert says

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Photo courtesy of the Royal Thai Navy

An expert told Thai media that he suspects the mysterious abandoned Chinese vessel found in the Gulf of Thailand might have been an illegal oil tanker distributing oil to various countries.

The Jin Shui Yuan 2, which many are calling a “ghost ship,” was reported by staff at an oil rig off the coast of the southern province Songkhla last Thursday. No one was onboard the cargo ship, and, apparently, no documents or registration numbers were on the vessel either. Only the ship’s name indicated that it was of Chinese origin.

The Royal Thai Navy attempted to pull the vessel to the shore of Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Sichon district, but strong winds caused the ship to take on water and sink. The authorities from the Second Naval Area Command are standing by monitoring the engine oil and making preparations to handle any problems that might arise from the sunken vessel.

According to the Thai media, one expert in news and national security says that this might be an illegal oil tanker. The source suspects that the ship travelled along national water to distribute illegal oil to different countries, including the southern part of Thailand. The ship might have been operating for a long period of time without proper maintenance. If a ship were operating illegally, it would be difficult to find somewhere to dock for repairs.

In an initial investigation by the Royal Thai Navy, officers found that a Chinese vessel registered as Jin Shui Yuan 2 was last reported in 2020. According to the website Marine Traffic, the last position of the Jin Shui Yuan 2 cargo vessel was in November 2020 in the East China Sea. The site now says the vessel is out of range.

The authorities added more that this is the first time Thailand found an abandoned vessel like this one and there will be a further investigation on the vessel’s nationality, where it came from, and find out whether it is illegal or not. Thailand will ask for international cooperation from Singapore and the US to gather more information and details of the ship.

SOURCE: Thairath | Khaosod

 

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