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Tanker Captain missing amid illegal oil transfer allegations : Trial Postponed

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BATAM : The trial in the Indonesian district court of Batam has been delayed as the accused, a captain of the tanker, went missing. Allegedly, the tanker was involved in an illegal ship-to-ship transfer of crude oil in Indonesian water.

In July 2023, the Indonesian Coast Guard caught two tankers, ARMAN 114 and S.TINOS, conducting illegal ship-to-ship oil transfers at the North Natuna. The Indonesian authorities reported that ARMAN 114 tried to escape and was attempting to sail in international waters. The Marine Force of Malaysia assisted the Indonesian authorities and stopped the vessel from fleeing.

According to the protocol of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, the tanker operator must inform the local authorities at least 48 hours before starting an STS in territorial waters.

The ownership of ARMAN 114 is not known, and it was said that the oil onboard is Iranian; however, Iran has denied owning the crude oil cargo.

The tanker ARMAN 114, along with her Egyptian captain and 28 crew members, all Syrian Nationals, were detained. Currently, it is believed that the captain fled the town of Batam. The judges have ordered the prosecutor to present the captain before the court in the next trial on July 04.

If prosecuted, the Egyptian captain may be imprisoned for seven years and charged a fine of more than $305,000. Moreover, the prosecutors have also demanded to auction off the vessel and its cargo, which comprise 167,000 metric tons of light crude oil.

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