Nov 14 2021 - 03:17
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Shipowners make payoffs to free vessels held by Indonesian navy near Singapore – sources

More than a dozen ship-owners have made payments of about $300,000 apiece to release vessels detained by the Indonesian navy Lebanon, news ,lbci ,أخبار COVID-19, Singapore, Navy, Indonesian,Ship Owners,More than a dozen ship-owners have made payments of about $300,000 apiece to release vessels detained by the Indonesian navy
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Shipowners make payoffs to free vessels held by Indonesian navy near Singapore – sources
Lebanon News
More than a dozen ship-owners have made payments of about $300,000 apiece to release vessels detained by the Indonesian navy, which said they were anchored illegally in Indonesian waters near Singapore, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
 
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The dozen sources include ship-owners, crew and maritime security sources all involved in the detentions and payments, which they say were either made in cash to naval officers or via bank transfer to intermediaries who told them they represented the Indonesian navy.
 
Reuters was not able to independently confirm that payments were made to naval officers or establish who the final recipients of the payments were.
The detentions and payments were first reported by Lloyd's List Intelligence, an industry website.
 
Rear Admiral Arsyad Abdullah, the Indonesian naval fleet commander for the region, said in a written response to Reuters' questions that no payments were made to the navy and also that it did not employ any intermediaries in legal cases.
 
"It is not true that the Indonesian navy received or asked for payment to release the ships," Abdullah said.
 
He said there had been an increasing number of detentions of ships in the past three months for anchoring without permission in Indonesian waters, deviating from the sailing route or stopping mid-course for an unreasonable amount of time. All the detentions were in accordance with Indonesian law, Abdullah said.
 
The Singapore Strait, one of the busiest waterways in the world, is crowded with vessels waiting for days or weeks to dock at Singapore, a regional shipping hub where the COVID-19 pandemic has led to long delays. Ships have for years anchored in waters to the east of the Strait while they wait to port, believing they are in international waters and therefore not responsible for any port fees, two maritime analysts and two ship-owners said.
 
The Indonesian navy says this area comes within its territorial waters and it intends to crack down harder on vessels anchoring there without a license.
 
A spokesperson for the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, a government agency, declined to comment.
 
 
REUTERS
 
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