Probe into seized vessels to continue for one more week

TEHRAN, Jan. 30 (MNA) – The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency said on Friday that it will take seven more days to prove a series of alleged violations committed by two international oil tankers in the country’s waters.

“We are collecting data of the case and will hand it over to law enforcement agencies for further investigation. However, we will release these tankers if we failed to secure evidence,” Bakamla spokesman Wisnu Pramandita told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

Pramandita admitted that the Indonesian Territorial Waters Law No 6 did not define the penalties for such violations. Based on Article 24 of the law, the protection of sovereignty and the rule of law in Indonesian waters, as well as the penalties for violations, shall be carried out in accordance with international conventions and other existing laws. Article 24 of the law is weak for such a violation in Indonesian waters, Pramandita added.

Last week, the Indonesian coast guard seized the Iranian-flagged MT Horse and the Panamanian-flagged MT Freya vessels over alleged illegal oil transfer in the waters off West Kalimantan province.

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 last week that MT Horse was seized over a "technical issue" and had asked Indonesia to explain the seizure.

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.

"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.

ZZ/PR/FNA13991110000477

News Code 169231

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