Fishing ship KM Rantau Bertuah arrested by Indonesian Navy / photo: tnial.mil.id

Fishing boat with Singaporean passengers arrested on Riau waters by Indonesian Navy

RIAU ISLAND, Tanjung Pinang – 10 Singaporean and two Indonesian passengers were arrested on board their boat, KM Rantau Bertuah by the Tanjung Pinang Maritime Security Unit of Indonesian Navy on Friday (4 November) in waters off Bintan Island.

The Indonesian Navy in its statement, said that they stopped an Indonesian fishing boat, KM Rantau Bertuah, when it was departing from Batam heading to the waters of Lagoi with three crew and 12 passengers. Two of the passengers are Indonesians and 10 are Singaporeans.

Upon inspection it was found out that the vessel did not have:

  • the necessary sailing permit,
  • the list of crews,
  • the list of passangers, and
  • its safety certifications had expired on 19 February 2016.

The Singaporeans were aged between 33 and 55 years old, and two of them did not have their passports with them, the statement added.

The fishing ship was arrested on the spot and escorted to the Navy Watch Post in Mentigi, Belitung island, to be processed for further legal proceedings, The Singaporean passengers will be handed over to the local immigration office.

This is the third time this year, that Singaporeans have been detained in the Riau islands on board fishing vessels.

Indonesia has been pressing down on illegal fishing following the order of the commander of the naval base, to concentrate law enforcement in the region of the western Indonesian waters from all forms of abuses, including cruise legal matters, after President Joko Widodo pledged to protect the country’s fishing industry.

Update on 7 November, 23pm:

Eight of the detained Singaporeans were deported on Monday (7 Nov) by the Indonesian immigration office but the other two, only identified as Zulkifli (53) and Marus (55), were still detained for further investigation because they failed to show their passport.

The spokesman of the Tanjung Uban immigration office in Bintan, Mr Muhammad Noor said, “The eight have passports, meaning they entered Indonesia legally, while the other two do not have passports so we are investigating them.”