Batam, Riau Islands The Indonesian government will take serious action against two foreign tankers, Panamanian-flagged MT Freya and Iranian-flagged MT Horse, for entering Indonesian waters and conducting illegal activities, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said.
“The government would take legal measures,” Sumadi said during his visit to Batam, Riau Islands on Thursday.
The authorities are investigating the case in adherence with international laws, he added.
The deputy for legal and human rights at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Sugeng Purnomo, said the government has established a task force to probe the case.
“The establishment of the task force would not intervene with law enforcement, but it will support the legal measures taken regarding the illegal entry of MT Horse and MT Freya,” he added.
The tankers were seized in the waters off Pontianak, West Kalimantan province on January 24, 2021 and escorted to Batam Island for further investigation.
The tankers were first detected at 5:30 a.m. local time on January 23, 2021. They reportedly tried to conceal their identity by not displaying their national flags and turning off their automatic identification systems. They also did not respond to a radio call, said officials.
Oil was allegedly being transferred from MT Horse to MT Freya when they were discovered by the authorities. An oil spill was also detected around the receiving tanker.
Director of the Indonesian Sea and Coast Guard, Ahmad, has said the two ships have violated the shipping channel and polluted the marine environment.
The two ships have been sealed and all evidence has been handed over to the Indonesian Sea and Coast Guard, he added. (INE)
Source: Antara News