SHAH ALAM: MMEA’s Special Task and Rescue Team (STAR) was instrumental in the seizure of an Iranian flagged oil tanker on July 7. The oil tanker MT Arman 114 was suspected of involvement in the illegal transshipment of crude oil to another vessel without a permit, the Indonesian Coast Guard or Bakamla announced on July 11.
Arman 114 was carrying 272,569 metric tons of light crude oil, valued at $304 million, when it was seized. Arman 114 was spotted initially in Indonesian waters off Batam with another tanker identified as S.Tinos, while conducting the illegal transshipment on July 7.
However, both vessels tried to flee even with one of them (Arman 114) had been boarded by Indonesian coast guard personnel. As Arman 114 had sailed into Malaysian waters, Bakamla contacted the APMM/MMEA for help in stopping the vessel.
A STAR team flew to scene on board an AW139 helicopter and fast roped onto the vessel and finally subdued the crew. The oil tanker and its crew were handed over to Bakamla officials.
According to Bakamla, the list of charges against Arman 114 include illegal transhipment; waste dumping and Automatic Identification System (AIS) spoofing (during the incident, Arman 114 AIS showed it was supposed to be in the Red Sea).
Arman 114 is currently berthed off Batam for further investigations. MMEA has not issued any statement on the incident. Once it does, this post will be updated.
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