May 20, 2024
Indonesian Navy detains ‘Suspicious’ Oil Tanker’
– By Alison_Godswill

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Indonesian Navy detains ‘Suspicious’ Oil Tanker’

A Panama registered oil tanker, MT ZODIAC STAR has been detained by Indonesian naval authorities late on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, close to Riau Island, according to FleetMon.

It stated: “The detention of the ‘suspicious’ vessel has been made on apprehensions of illegal activity and entrance into the territorial waters without permits.

“The vessel was first intercepted by the navy between the island of Borneo and Malaysia with a total crew of 19 onboard, consisting of 18 Indonesians and one Malaysian individual. On further exploration, the tanker was found out to be carrying more than 4000 tons of waste oil.

“After which, MT ZODIAC STAR was taken into custody and transported to the naval base of Lana Batam. The authorities are yet to establish the intentions and destination of the tanker and are undertaking further investigations in the direction.”

According to a statement released by the Indonesian navy, “The examination process has been carried out with the captain, witnesses, and experts.” The examination reports are expected to be sent to the prosecution on completion for building the case.

The Indonesian coast guard had also detained a Chinese-owned tanker registered in Panama along with an Iranian tanker on January 24, 2021, accusing them of conducting an illegitimate ship-to-ship bunker transfer.

The tankers were located along the northern end of the Singapore Strait, and were anchored and operating in the dark without a display of national flags. The tankers were kept in custody for more than four months after which the Chinese vessel was fined a sum of $140,000 for pollution in May 2021, when both tankers were expelled.

In a recent case, the Indonesian Navy had detained MT STROVOLOS in late July, which had been accused of stealing 298,000 barrels of oil from a Cambodian energy project.

After the investigations conclude, the captain and the crew are likely to face charges owing to five years of jail term and fines up to $42,000 if found guilty.

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