Tuesday, August 16

MMEA to meet Indonesian authority on tanker hijacker


KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will meet with the Indonesian authority on Sept 17 to discuss the custody of the alleged mastermind behind the MT Orkim Harmony hijacking case.

MMEA deputy director-general of operations, Rear Admiral Datuk Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar said, at present, the suspect was in the custody of the Indonesian authority to ease evidence- gathering processes and would only be extradited to Malaysia should the need arise.

“Right now, the alleged mastermind behind the MT Orkim Harmony hijacking case will continue to be investigated in Indonesia before any decision is made to charge him at any of the countries involved,” he told Bernama when contacted here yesterday.

However, Ahmad Puzi said the MMEA would send a representative to help the Indonesian authority in solving the case.

Last Thursday, an Indonesian man suspected of being the mastermind behind the hijacking of the Malaysian oil tanker last June Jun, was arrested by the Indonesian Navy’s Western Fleet Quick Response IV Team.

The man, known as Albert Yohanes, was picked up at an apartment in Grogol Petamburan, West Jakarta, and currently in the custody of the naval military police in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.

The MT Orkim Harmony laden with 6,000 tonnes of RON95 fuel belonging to Petronas, was hijacked on June 11 at about 30 nautical miles off Tanjung Sedili in Johor.

The tanker was spotted by the Royal Australian Air Force, P-3C Orion aircraft in the Gulf of Siam on June 17.

Eight of the alleged hijackers were arrested by the Vietnamese authorities near Phu Quoc, southern Vietnam, after they tried to escape from the tanker on June 19.

During the incident, the tanker was manned by a crew of 22, comprising 16 Malaysian nationals, five Indonesians and one Myanmar citizen. — Bernama