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The Indonesian Navy was accused of ‘fauceting’ 350,000 USD to release the captured foreign ship

The Indonesian Navy was accused of asking for $ 350,000 to release a captured foreign ship - Photo 1.

The Nord Joy, a Panama-flagged vessel, was arrested off the coast of Indonesia – Photo: ST

Reuters news agency, citing separate sources, said the fuel tanker Nord Joy was arrested on May 30 while it was anchored in Indonesian waters, east of the Singapore Strait, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. .

Synergy Group, the Singapore-based company that manages the Nord Joy, told Reuters that the ship anchored in a position believed to be outside Indonesian territorial waters on May 26. On May 30, the Indonesian navy arrested Nord Joy, accusing it of being in the country’s territorial waters.

Synergy said it is working with the navy, attorneys and local agencies to resolve the issue. Nord Joy was escorted by naval vessels to an anchorage near Batam, an island 32km south of Singapore.

Reuters sources said the owner of the tanker had been taken to base and asked by Indonesian naval officers to arrange a payment of $375,000, or potentially greater damages if the incident were to be resolved. bring to court.

When asked if naval officers had asked the ship to pay $375,000 for its release, Indonesian navy spokesman Julius Widjojono said “this is strictly prohibited”.

Julius Widjojono confirmed that the navy had detained the Nord Joy on suspicion that it was anchored in Indonesian waters without a permit, violating the laws of the host country.

Under Indonesian law, anchoring without a license carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison for the captain and a fine of 200 million rupiah (nearly $14,000).

In November 2021, the Indonesian navy said there was an increase in the number of people arrested for illegally anchoring, going the wrong way or stopping in the middle for too long.

The ships were later released due to insufficient evidence and the navy said it had not received any money.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that the Indonesian navy seized dozens of ships last year. The ship owners paid about 300,000 USD for each ship to be released.

Many ships have been anchored in the waters east of the Singapore Strait while waiting to dock for years now, maritime analysts say. The vessels assume they are in international waters and are not subject to any port charges.

The Indonesian Navy has stated publicly in recent years that much of the area is within its waters and that it intends to crack down on ships anchored there without permits.

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