LABUAN: A cargo ship and an offshore supporting vessel laden with 38,000 litres of diesel, all worth about RM15.2 million, was seized by the Labuan marine police Monday night (Aug 5) for allegedly transferring fuel illegally.
Bernama reported the two vessels were suspected of carrying out illegal ship-to-ship (STS) oil transfer in the waters of Pulau Papan , a five-minute boat ride from the Labuan town jetty.
Sabah Marine Police (Region 4) chief commander ACP Mohamad Pajeri Ali was quoted saying that the two Malaysian skippers, aged 36 and 47, were arrested in ‘Op Gelora’ at 9.47 pm.
“This is the biggest seizure in our operation so far,” he said.
“Our team was patrolling Labuan waters when they spotted the two vessels, which were anchored next to each other, carrying out suspicious activities.
“Upon checking, our team found that approximately 38,000 litres of diesel worth some RM134,000 from the Off Shore Gemia was being transferred to the Success 33 without any permit and approval from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, which is an offence under the Control of Supplies Act 1961,” Mohamad Pajeri said.
“The Off Shore Gemia worth RM15 million, Success 33 worth RM120,000 and the diesel worth RM134,000 were seized,” he said.
It is understood that both vessels may be impounded for violating the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952.