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KOTA KINABALU: The five vessels that tailed an oil tanker in Kikeh waters, northwest of the coast here, may have just been using the same maritime route on its way to Labuan.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Sabah and Labuan regional director First Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som said MV Armada Tuah 100 had just left the Kikeh Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, 120km northwest of Labuan, when the crew sounded the alarm to alert MMEA that the ship was tailed by four boats and a larger vessel on Thursday morning.

Zubil said MMEA had recorded a statement from the captain of the oil tanker regarding the incident, but failed to get a clear description of the boats.

"It has been clarified that there was no attempt to hijack the tanker. "MMEA will continue to ensure Sabah waters are safe by working closely with other maritime agencies. "We would also like to advise crew boats to report any suspicious or unusual activities at sea to the authorities."