Photo: Indonesian Navy

Tanker crew arrested for stealing thousands of barrels of crude oil

The captain and 18 crew members of the oil tanker MT Strovolos were detained by the Indonesian Navy on suspicion of stealing nearly 300,000 barrels of crude oil.

The Bahamas-flagged tanker was seized by the Indonesian Navy in the Anambas waters on 27 July 2021.

Photo by Indonesian Navy

Indonesian Navy’s ship KRI John Lie-358, which at that time was carrying out enforcement operations and security patrols in the national jurisdiction, managed to detect and secure the oil tanker.

Photo by Indonesian Navy

The captain of the tanker, a Bangladesh national, is suspected of anchoring in Indonesian territory without permission, after refusing to activate the automatic identification system (AIS) when sailing in Indonesian waters. 

If found guilty, he could face up to one year of prison and a maximum fine of about $14 000.

The arrest of MT Strovolos began with a red notice issued by the Cambodian government through its embassy on 24 July 2021.

The government appealed for the support of Indonesian authorities to detain the vessel allegedly involved in crude oil theft.

After it was detained, the vessel was taken for quarantine according to the COVID-19 protocol before further investigation was carried out by Lanal Batam.

The 182.5-meter long oil tanker is operated by Singapore-based shipping company World Tankers Management.

The 47,100 DWT ship, which was built at Onomichi Dockyard in Japan, was struck by another vessel whilst moored in the Malacca Strait in October last year.

Tanker suffered hull breach above the waterline, according to the company.