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."