Indonesian Navy arrested the captain of a fuel tanker in May, suspected of anchoring illegally in its waters. He has been jailed for 15 days and fined 200 million rupiahs, per information from a navy spokesperson on Wednesday.
Nord Joy, an oil tanker flying Panama’s flag, was reportedly detained on 30 May. The ship was anchored in the Indonesian waters, east of Singapore Strait, one of the busiest shipping channels in the world.
Indonesian navy officers asked for an unofficial payment of $375,000 to release the vessel, two individuals involved in the negotiations informed Reuters.
Indonesia’s Navy refused to accept that such payment was requested. They instead said that the vessel was held for anchoring in its waters without permission. Synergy Group, Nord Joy’s manager, said it was unaware of any request for money made by the Navy.
The vessel was reportedly released when a court on 7 July handed down the prison sentence and a fine to Vivek Kumar, the oil tanker’s captain, Julius Widjojono – the Navy spokesman – reported to Reuters.
A spokesperson associated with the Synergy Group confirmed that the vessel was released following a court hearing on Batam, an Indonesian island toward the south of Singapore that’s home to a core naval base of Indonesia.
The tanker, which measures 183 meters in length and can be loaded with up to 350,000 barrels full of fuel, is anchored to the west of Singapore on the route to Malaysia’s Tanjung Pelepas Port, per the ship date provided by Refinitiv.
In 2021, a dozen similar detentions by the Indonesian Navy were reported. In such cases, the ship owners reportedly made unofficial payments of almost $300,000 each. After that, the vessels were released.
The Navy refused to accept that any payments of this sort were made.