Indonesian navy finds fuel tanker taken by crew
Indonesia’s navy said on Thursday that it had found a tanker carrying almost $400,000 worth of diesel that was taken by its own crew last week due to a commercial dispute. The MT Vier Harmoni was initially feared to have been hijacked after setting sail from Malaysia, in waters that have suffered a string of pirate attacks in recent times.
But Indonesian authorities quickly realised the vessel, which was transporting 900,000 litres of diesel, had been taken by its Indonesian crew due to a dispute. The navy deployed ships and a helicopter to search for the tanker, which was reported missing on August 16, after setting sail from southern Malaysia a day earlier.
“The hunt was conducted day and night, non-stop, by the team,” said navy spokesman Edi Sucipto. He said the tanker was found on Wednesday off West Kalimantan province, on the Indonesian part of Borneo island. It is being escorted to Tanjung Pinang, the provincial capital of Indonesia’s Riau Islands, for further investigations, Sucipto said. After the tanker disappeared, the Indonesian navy said the captain had contacted the vessel’s agent to say the crew were taking it back to Batam island, south of Singapore, due to an “internal management problem”. The term is commonly used to refer to a dispute between a crew and a ship’s owner or charterer.