Indonesia detains Chinese-flagged dredger for looting sunken treasure

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Indonesia has detained a Chinese-flagged dredger MV Chuan Hong 68 for looting treasures from the wrecks of sunken ships in the Indonesian maritime territory.

The fugitive vessel was again seized through cooperation with the Malaysian maritime patrol agency, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti noted in a statement, here, Saturday.

“I laud the Malaysian authorities, in this case the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, which has been cooperating with the Indonesian Navy, to seize MV Chuan Hong 68 in the Pengerang waters, East Johor,” the minister remarked.

The grab hopper-type dredger, weighing 8,352 gross tonnage, was found in the Panggarag waters, East Johor, Malaysia, on Apr 28.

MV Chuan Hong 68 has also violated Malaysias law, as it neither reported its arrival nor did it have a permit to berth.

The Indonesian Navy is currently grilling 20 crew members of the dredger. The crew members comprise 16 Chinese nationals, three Indians, and a Malaysian.

The Chinese vessel was detained by the Indonesian Navy in the Natuna waters, Riau Islands Province, for the first time on April 20, 2017, for illegally dredging in the Indonesian waters.

On Apr 22, however, the dredger and its crew members managed to flee to Malaysia.

Among the sunken ships looted by MV Chuan Hong 68 in the Indonesian waters are Swedish Supertanker Seven Skies that sank in 1969, Italian ore/oil steamship Igara that went down on March 12, 1973, Japanese warship Ijn Sagiri, and Japanese passenger ships Hiyoshi Maru and Katori Maru.

Source: Antara News