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    Aug 23, 2016

    Singaporean boat captain detained in Indonesia

    ANOTHER Singaporean boat captain, along with his crew and nine passengers, have been detained for trespassing

    in Indonesian waters.

    Captain Ricky Tan Poh Hui was piloting the Malaysia-flagged Seven Seas Conqueress in

    waters near Bintan, in the Riau Islands, on Sunday when he was stopped by the Indonesian navy.

    According to the navy, the boat was intercepted about 7.5 nautical miles from the coast of Tanjung Berakit in Bintan. Local authorities said it is owned by Singapore-based Odyssey Marine and did not have permission to enter the waters.

    The captain, his crew of three and the

    nine passengers, mainly recreational anglers

    from Singapore, are being held for investigations

    in a naval base in Tanjung Pinang. Mr Tan was

    the only one identified by the local authorities.

    Base commander First Admiral S. Irawan told The Straits Times yesterday that a navy vessel had spotted the Seven Seas Conqueress while on patrol for poachers. "There was evidence (of illegal fishing), such as fishing-rods and fresh fish,"

    he said. "That shows they were fishing illegally

    in Indonesian waters."

    He added that the Seven Seas Conqueress had

    a port clearance from Singapore, which was issued

    on Aug 19, and registration certificate from Langkawi in Malaysia.

    When contacted, a representative for

    Odyssey Marine, which was listed online as Dynamic Systems Technologies, declined

    to comment on the incident.

    On its website, Dynamic Systems Technologies

    is said to have been set up by a group of "ex-military personnel who had served in

    the most elite units of the armed forces".

    The company, located in Jurong East,

    specialises in conducting diving courses for

    defence and security agencies. It also

    distributes dive equipment in the region.

    Indonesia has increased sea patrols against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing after President Joko Widodo announced plans

    to beef up the country's fisheries sector

    in recent years.

    The latest arrest comes after the acquittal

    of Singaporean boat captain Shoo Chiau Huat

    for a similar offence in Bintan recently.

    Mr Shoo, 50, was ferrying seven Singaporeans and six Malaysians on board the MV Selin

    when it was caught by the navy near

    Tanjung Berakit on April 16.

    His passengers were deported but Mr Shoo remains in the custody of Indonesian authorities and was charged with immigration offences following his acquittal last month.

    Mr Shoo's lawyer Herman Black told

    The Straits Times yesterday that a pre-trial

    motion has been filed and the case will be

    heard next week on Aug 29.

    "I have come to the immigration office and asked for documentation relating to Mr Shoo's detention and they have not given me any,"

    said Mr Herman. "So there is no clear basis

    for his arrest and detention."