|Seven Indonesians were detained within minutes after they robbed a tanker's crewmen in the waters off Penggerang, Johor|
JOHOR BARU: Seven Indonesians were detained within minutes after they robbed a tanker’s crewmen in the waters off Penggerang here.
The Indonesians, aged between 28 and 33 years, were arrested when their vessel was intercepted by two boats from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), responding to a distress call from Mt Front Queen.
South Region MMEA commander First Admiral Zulkifli Abu Bakar said that during the 3.15am incident yesterday, the men boarded the tanker, registered in the Majuro Islands in the Pacific, and robbed the crew.
“However, chased by one of the robbers, a crew member managed to escape to the ship’s bridge and alerted the Russian captain.
“The tanker then started blaring its horn, which is an indication that it was in distress,” he said.
Zulkifli added that the MMEA boats, with nine men, responded and found the robbers’ vessel nearby.
A search of the vessel by his officers found a bayonet, an axe and spanners, Zulkifli said.
“As my officers were nearing the vessel, they noticed the men throwing overboard two long sticks and a plastic bag,” he said, adding that the bag could have contained the robbed items.
He said they also confiscated the 2m-long vessel, equipped with a 40-horse power engine.
Initial investigations showed the men, who did not put up a struggle during the arrest, could have been involved in other cases as they fitted descriptions given, added Zulkifli.
He said that last year, there were 13 cases of sea robbery and attempted robbery in the waters off Penggerang and Tanjung Piai.
“So far this year, we have 11 cases,” he said.
Zulkifli added that MMEA was working with the marine police to intensify operations, especially in the two areas. - theStarOnline