Two vessels suspected of carrying out illegal ship-to-ship oil transfer were arrested by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) in Johor waters, Malaysia on Saturday.
MMEA official, captain Amran bin Hj Daud said that “two vessels were arrested by a Malaysian Maritime patrol boat at 12:28 pm yesterday (October 24th) about 2.2 nautical miles southeast of Tanjung Ayam”.
The vessels in question are MT Chelsea II, registered in Singapore with a crew of eight members, nationals of Indonesia, Myanmar and Singapore. MT Chelsea’s crew is suspected of removing approximately 45,543 tonnes of Marine Gas Oil (MGO) to MV Lu Rong Yuan Yu 978 registered in Shidao, China, manned by all Chinese crew of 17 members. MMEA said that it had determined that the two vessels failed to submit necessary permits and related documents for the oil transfer.
Aside to the illegal oil transfer, the two ships are charged for failing to inform the arrival of their vessels to Malaysian waters and failing to pay relevant fees. This is the fourth case of errors do ship to ship oil transfers without authorization (STS).
Investigation into the case is under way.
World Maritime News Staff; Image: MMEA