The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has detained 20 crew members from an Indonesian asphalt/bitumen tanker after the vessel allegedly entered Malaysian waters without proper documentation.
According to MMEA, the 20 seafarers, including the captain, are all Indonesians and were manning the 2012-built Erica 10, which IHS Markit Maritime and Trade shows as being owned by PT Multi Trading Pratama Group, an Indonesian bitumen producer.
Vessel-tracking data shows that the 5,869 dwt Erica 10 had sailed from Singapore on 18 October but was detained at about 12:10 h local time on 21 October after entering the waters in the eastern part of Johor state.
The head of MMEA’s Tanjung Sedili branch, Mohd Zulfadli Nayan, said at a press briefing that the Indonesia-flagged Erica 10 did not have the paperwork required to enter Malaysian waters.
The detained crew members are aged between 22 years old and 53 years old, said Mohd Zulfadli.
Mohd Zulfadli said that the matter will be investigated under Section 491B of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance, which could result in a USD23,875 fine, or an imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both.
Mohd Zulfadi said that it is the fifth time in October that the MMEA detained a foreign-flagged vessel for not having proper documentation for entering Malaysian waters.
He added that the MMEA has been on the alert for tankers that lack required documentation for entering Malaysian waters, owing to incidences of sea robbers targeting fuel cargoes.