China urges Indonesia to infrom of seized tankers crew

TEHRAN, Jan. 27 (MNA) – China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday it was seeking details about 25 of its nationals who were among 61 crew on two supertankers seized by Indonesia on suspicion of illegally transferring oil.

During his regular Press Conference on January 27, Zhao Lijian said: "We read this from reports. Our embassy in Indonesia asked the Indonesian side and knew that there were indeed 25 Chinese crew members on the Panamanian oil tanker seized by Indonesia, who are in sound physical condition."

"The embassy expressed concerns to Indonesia, asking them to verify the situation of the Chinese seafarers and give formal notice to the Chinese side as soon as possible, investigate the case in a lawful and just manner, and guarantee the health, safety, and legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese nationals," he added.

"Our embassy will continue closely following the investigation and provide assistance to the pertinent crew members," he continued.

 In a tweet on Sun. the Official Indonesia Coast Guard (IDNCG) announced that it has seized two oil tankers in the Pontianak Wars, one of which has been Iranian.

"Coast Guard Bakamla seized two tankers (Iranian MT Horse and Panama MT Frea) in Pontianak Waters, West Kalimantan, for violating their right of transit passage which includes ship-to-ship oil transfers, turning off their AIS, and oil spiling," the tweet claimed.

The Iranian- and Panamanian-flagged vessels seized by Indonesian authorities are making their way to dock at Batam island in the country's Riau Islands province for further investigation, an Indonesia coast guard spox said.

The MT Horse, owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company and MT Freya, managed by Shanghai Future Ship Management Co, had a total of 61 crew members on board.

Iran said on Monday that MT Horse was seized over a "technical issue" and had asked Indonesia to explain the seizure.

HJ/5132651

News Code 169136

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