Malaysian authorities seize vessels suspected of oil smuggling

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) seized two ships suspected of illegal transfer of oil and another for docking without valid documents in the waters off Pengerang yesterday.

“The two vessels were detained when the MT Vitalogy, which was registered in Equatorial Guinea, was in the midst of transferring 80,000 litres of marine oil to the Vietnamese-registered MT An Phu without documentation,” an MMEA spokesperson said.

A total of 16 crew – a mix of Indonesians and Vietnamese – were arrested from both vessels.

The MMEA has been trying to crack down on oil smuggling this year in a bid to quash rising robberies at sea which has made Southeast Asia a blackspot for maritime crime over the past 18 months.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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