At least 8 perpetrators are on board the hijacked MT Orkim Harmony which was detected in Cambodian waters on Thursday and they are armed with pistols and 'parangs', said Malaysian navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar.
"At least 8 perpetrators are onboard. They are armed with pistols and 'parangs'. They speak with (an) Indonesian accent," Abdul Aziz wrote on his Twitter.
He also posted a photo of the tanker now repainted with the name "KIM HARMON".
The oil tanker was hijacked off the south-east coast of Malaysia last week. The Star had earlier on Thursday reported that the missing tanker had been detected in Cambodian waters, but it had since been repainted and renamed.
Abdul Aziz said all crew of the missing MT Orkim Harmony are safe and negotiations were ongoing with the hijackers on board to surrender.
He said the authorities had promised the suspects that they would not be harmed by authorities.
"MT Orkim Harmony: KD Terengganu is shadowing the vessel and is in communication with the Vessel's captain. All crew are safe and unharmed," he tweeted.
"We are currently monitoring and shadowing the ship. We will wait for the opportune moment to retake the ship," he said.
He added that the next course of action was currently being discussed.
"We have to get the consent of the owner and we also have to take the necessary precautions. Whatever it is, we are prepared," he said.
The tanker, which was carrying 5,000 tonnes of RON95 fuel belonging to Petronas worth RM21m, left Malacca on Thursday and was to arrive at Kuantan Port at 10.30am the next day, but communication was lost at about 8.54pm.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) was notified almost 10 hours later at 6.30am the next day that it had gone missing. (ika)