LABUAN: A cargo ship and an offshore supporting vessel with 38,000 litres of diesel, all worth about RM15.2 million, were seized by Labuan marine police yesterday for illegally transferring fuel.

The two vessels were suspected of carrying out illegal ship-to-ship (STS) oil transfer in Pulau Papan waters, a five-minute boat ride from the Labuan town jetty, according to Sabah Marine Police (Region 4) chief commander ACP Mohamad Pajeri Ali.

The two Malaysian skippers, aged 36 and 47, were arrested in the ‘Op Gelora’ at 9.47pm, he told Bernama today.

“This is the biggest seizure in our operation so far,” he said.

“Our team were patrolling the 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 of RM134,000 from the Off Shore Gemia vessel was being transferred to the Success 33 cargo vessel without permit and approval from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, which is an offence under the Control of Supplies Act 1961,” he said.

“The Off Shore Gemia worth RM15 million, Success 33 worth RM120,000 and the diesel worth RM134,000 were seized,” he added.

It is understood that both vessels may be impounded for violating the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952. - Bernama