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Thailand Arrests Seven Burmese Nationals - 2004-03-18


Thailand has arrested seven Burmese nationals and recovered two hijacked Indonesian vessels.

The International Maritime Bureau says Thai police and military officials located the tugboat and barge Monday in the Gulf of Thailand. The group says the suspected hijackers were preparing to re-paint and change the license numbers of the vessels when they were caught.

Officials say the tugboat was towing the barge when it was seized by hijackers in early February off an Indonesian island. The barge, which was on its way to northern Malaysia, was carrying three-thousand tons of crude palm oil, worth one-point-six million dollars.

The International Maritime Bureau says at least 12 tugs and barges were hijacked by pirates in Southeast Asia last year.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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