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Indonesian captain of Singapore-owned vessel faces jail time for transporting toxic waste

25 Jul 2022

Indonesian Chosmus Palandi, Captain of Belize-flagged SB Cramoil Equity, was sentenced to prison by Batam’s district court on Wednesday (15 June) for transporting containers of hazardous and toxic liquid waste into Indonesia.

The Indonesian government found the 48-year-old to be violating both environment and shipping laws in Indonesia and noted SB Cramoil Equity belonging to Cramoil Singapore Pte Ltd – one of Singapore’s authorised scrubber waste disposal firms, it said.

Palandi was caught by Indonesian authorities on June 13, 2021 when Batam Port Authority’s patrol team received information about the vessel entering the waters off Batam and ordered the ship to leave the area. 

The team found SB Cramoil Equity still in Batu Ampar waters two days later and also discovered 20 intermediate bulk containers (IBC) of hazardous and toxic liquid waste on board. 

The judgement of Palandi’s trial was passed on 15 June and revealed by Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry in a statement on Friday (22 July). He was sentenced to a seven-year jail term and issued an IDR five billion (USD 332,933.81) fine. 

Ratio Ridho Sani, Law Enforcement Director General of the ministry, said he was appreciative of the judge’s verdict to severely punish perpetrators of environmental crimes, saying it will act as a deterrent to parties who attempt to smuggle waste into the country. 

He added the ministry was committed to following up on the court ruling, which it deemed a cross-border corporate crime. 

“Currently, the ministry is investigating the origin of the waste transported by the ship and the corporations involved in the matter. Strict action against perpetrators of waste smuggling and traffic pollution must be carried out to protect Indonesian waters and the environment. The main perpetrators, the person in charge and the corporations involved must be severely punished,” he said. 

He said the ministry has coordinated with the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore and will look further into this case. 

In April 2018, it was reported Cramoil Singapore was issued a stop-work order by Singapore’s national water agency PUB after it was caught discharging toxic wastewater into public sewers and it was a first for PUB issuing such an order. 

Manifold Times in May 2019 reported Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) listing the company as one of the licensed Toxic Industrial Waste Collectors (TIWCs) that may be able to collect scrubber residues generated by ships. 

Related: Singapore: MPA informs of reception facilities for scrubber residues


Photo credit: Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry
Published: 25 July, 2022

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