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Malaysia: MMEA detains Penang and Panama registered tankers for illegal fuel transfer

11 Jan 2023

The Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) of Johor on Tuesday (10 January) said it impounded four ships in eastern Johor, with two detained for illegal transfer of fuel, during an enforcement operation on 9 January. 

One of the four vessels was registered in Penang while the other three were registered in Panama, Douglas, Australia and Zanzibar in Tanzania.

Johor MMEA director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said patrolling officers detained the vessels registered in Penang and Panama, which were suspected of illegally transferring fuel, between 10.50 am and 11.30 am at 32 nautical miles east of Tanjung Sedili Besar.

A total of 7,000 metric tonnes (mt) of marine fuel oil valued at RM24.5 million was seized from the first two vessels detained for the illegal transfer of fuel. 

“The tanker registered in Penang was manned by 10 crew members including Malaysians, Indonesians and Myanmar nationals, while the tanker from Panama was manned by 18 crew members consisting of Indians and Pakistanis,” he said.

All of the crew members were between the ages of 25 and 59 and had valid identification documents with them.

These two ships are being investigated under the Section 491B(1)(K) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 for illegal transfer of fuel.

The vessel registered in Douglas, Australia, was manned by 22 Filipino nationals aged between 25 and 67.

The last ship to be detained in the operation involved a tanker that was 12 nautical miles east of Tanjung Balau and was detained at 4.15pm for illegally anchoring in state waters.

The tanker registered in Zanzibar was operated by five Indonesian crew members aged between 26 and 60.


Photo credit: Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency
Published: 11 January, 2023

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