The Johor state division of Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) on Thursday (15 October) said it managed to stop three vessels in eastern Johor waters from conducting illegal ship-to-ship oil transfers.
“The local maritime community had alerted the MMEA Tanjung Sedili to the suspicious ship-to-ship transfers on Wednesday (14 October) evening,” said First Maritime Admiral Nurul Hizam bin Zakaria, Director, MMEA Johor.
The MMEA patrol team who were on patrol arrived for an inspection around 7pm and discovered the three vessels sailing suspiciously close together about 14 nautical miles east of Tanjung Sedili.
The three vessels were a Comoros flagged Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), a Labuan registered oil tanker and an Indonesia registered supply boat, said the MMEA.
Initial investigations revealed the VLCC was transferring an oil cargo to the oil tanker, but neither vessel could produce the license required to conduct ship-to-ship transfers in the area.
The MMEA reported that the VLCC had 20 crew on board (19 Indian nationals, 1 Pakistani), the oil tanker had 24 crew on board (15 Indian nationals, 5 Ukrainians, 3 Russians), and the supply vessel was manned by 8 Indonesian crew.
“The detained vessels will be investigated under Section 491B(1)(L) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance (MSO)1952 for anchoring without a permit and Section 491B(1)(K) for carrying out ship-to ship transfers illegally,
“Further investigations revealed that both vessels did not have the appropriate contract documents or insurance policies.”
MMEA added that it will continue to increase its efforts to heighten security in order to ensure the safety of vessels within Malaysian waters.
Photo credit: MMEA
Published: 16 October, 2020
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