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Tanker stopped for attempting illegal ship-to-ship fuel transfer

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The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) stopped a tanker for attempting an illegal ship-to-ship fuel transfer in the eastern Johor waters earlier this week.

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Johor MMEA director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said the tanker, registered in Belize, was held about 3.45am some 6.7 nautical miles northeast of Tanjung Balau in Kota Tinggi.

“Those on the tanker were attempting the (fuel) transfer with a ship which is under MMEA seizure pending a trial.

“The stop was made after we received information from the Fire and Rescue Department which received a report from a crew member of the detained ship that they were forced to allow an unidentified tanker to approach for an unknown purpose,” he said.

He said after they confirmed the information with the detained ship, MMEA deployed its vessels to the location.

“We then stopped the tanker and detained its 10 Indonesian crew members aged between 24 and 60,” said Nurul Hizam.

He said the tanker’s captain failed to show any permission to anchor or conduct ship-to-ship fuel transfer.

“The captains and chief engineers of both vessels have been taken to the Tanjung Sedili maritime zone office for further investigation.”

Nurul Hizam said the case is being investigated under Section 491B(I) and Section 491B(K) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News