MMEA detains 16 men for robbing empty oil tanker

01 Jun 2018 / 20:56 H.

    KOTA TINGGI: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) succeeded in nabbing 16 robbers including their leaders who robbed an oil tanker, MT Lee Bo about 25 nautical miles from Mersing this morning.
    MMEA director-general Admiral (Maritime) Datuk Seri Zulkifili Abu Bakar said 14 Indonesian men aged between 30 and 53 were apprehended onboard MT Bright by MMEA special action team at 6.25am this morning while two gang leaders were arrested in Batam, Indonesia three hours later.
    "The pirates were reported to have robbed MT Lee Bo with 12 crew members comprising six Indonesians and six Sri Lankans and took their personal belongings after finding the vessel is empty.
    "During the incident, MT Lee Bo which was using its Mongolian registration was sailing from the Straits of Singapore towards Malaysian waters," he told reporters at the MMEA base in Tanjung Sedili here today. Zulkifili said the operation successful after the MMEA operation centre directed KM Sebatik to rush to the scene at 4am to look for MT Lee Bo.
    He said MMEA mobilised seven special action members with a helicopter who found the ship which been taken over by the robbers that is MT Bright before capturing 14 of them.
    He said following the arrests, and with the cooperation of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), two robbers aged between 40 to 50 believed to be the masterminds were held in Batam at 9.30am.
    Earlier before the arrest, MMEA got wind of the robbers' plan at 4pm yesterday when the ship had been identified.
    "From intelligence information, it was found the robbers were targeting another ship but changed their target at the last minute to MT Lee Bo without knowing the oil tanker was not carrying any load.
    "The robbers armed with knives and machetes also slightly injured two crew members of MT Lee Boo after seizing all their money, mobile phones and laptops," he said.
    According to him, all the robbers were brought to the Mersing Maritime Zone office for further investigations under Section 397 of the Penal Code for gang robbery. — Bernama

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