Indonesia Escorts Seized Iranian Tanker to Dock for Investigation

Indonesia Escorts Seized Iranian Tanker to Dock for Investigation

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Iranian and Panamanian-flagged vessels seized by Indonesian authorities are being transferred to dock at Batam island in the country's Riau Islands Province for further investigation, an Indonesia coast guard spokesman said.

The two supertankers, with crew members from Iran and China, were seized for allegedly suspected illegal oil transfers on Sunday in Indonesian waters near Kalimantan island. The MT Horse, owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company and MT Freya, managed by Shanghai Future Ship Management Co, had a total of 61 crew members onboard.

"The ships will arrive in Batam at around 3pm (0600GMT) to 4pm later today," Wisnu Pramandita, spokesman of the Indonesian coast guard, told Reuters.

Wisnu said some of the crew remained in the supertankers, but others were being detained on coast guard ships for questioning while the investigation was under way.

In remarks at a weekly press conference on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the Islamic Republic is waiting for the government of Indonesia to provide more information about the seizure of the oil tanker in Indonesian waters, adding that MT Horse was seized over a "technical issue".

Meanwhile, Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said Tuesday that further investigations are being carried out in order to obtain a more complete picture of the alleged committed violations.

Indonesia said its coast guard seized the Iranian-flagged MT Horse and the Panamanian-flagged MT Freya vessels over suspected illegal oil transfer in the country’s waters on Sunday.

Indonesia’s coast guard spokesman claimed the two tankers concealed their identity by not showing their national flags, turning off automatic identification systems and did not respond to a radio call.

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