Two tankers were arrested by the Indonesian Marine Police for illegal fuel oil bunkering off Batam and Palembang, Indonesia.

Urban Success, with IMO number 8617615, was apprehended by the Indonesian Marine Police for alleged smuggling of diesel fuel from Palembang into the outer port limit in east Singapore while underway in the Singapore Strait off Batam, Indonesia, at 21.00 local time on 25 April.

The tanker with eight crew members was intercepted with the assistance of a helicopter, then escorted and anchored off Sekupang, Batam for investigation.

Later, the investigation revealed that Urban Success carried nearly 700,000 litres of fuel oil without legal documents and port clearance. The Indonesian Marine Police has tracked the alleged smuggling for a few months through surveillance and the monitoring of vessel movement.

Meanwhile, Virgo, with IMO number 8835750, was also detained by the Indonesian Marine Police for illegal fuel oil bunkering in waters off Tanjung Kampe near Palembang, Indonesia, at 14.00 local time on 30 April. The tanker was suspected of being the supplier to Urban Success. Initial inspection showed approximately 697,000 litres of fuel oil had been transferred to Urban Success from Virgo.

The Indonesian Marine Police escorted Virgo to Sekupang, Batam, at 07.30 local time on 2 May for further investigation. Three sets of ship documents were found on board, showing that the vessel was renamed and repainted immediately after every fuel oil transferring operation. The operators of Virgo had fled before the arrest, but the authorities seized three crew members in connection with the illegal bunkering incident.

News article first appeared on IHS Maritime 36o