JAKARTA: Indonesia’s navy on Saturday (Feb 10) said it had seized a fishing vessel carrying one tonne of crystal methamphetamine off Batam on Wednesday.
Local media reported the drugs were smuggled in rice sacks and the boat MV Sunrise Glory, which was flying a Singapore flag, was operated by Taiwanese crew members.
According to the Indonesian navy, the vessel was spotted by patrol boat KRI Sigurot 864 as it entered Indonesian waters in the Singapore Strait. The vessel was subsequently captured in the Phillip Channel, between Singapore and Batam.
The crew were reportedly unable to provide original documents, having used only photocopied documents from Indonesia. Authorities suspect the vessel of also being a “phantom ship”, which has likely used many names, including Sun De Man 66.
The crew is also suspected of using the boat to carry drugs and smuggle goods; using fake documents and replacing its flag according to the country it passed by.
Local media citing information from the captain said the boat sailed from Malaysia to Taiwan, but after being matched with port clearance documents, was revealed to have sailed from Malaysia to Thailand.
Navy personnel found the drugs stored in 41 sacks of rice when they detained the crew for investigation and examined the vessel at Batu Ampar Port in Batam.