Two Indonesian coal ports halt shipping to Philippines on hijack fears

Authorities from at least two Indonesian coal ports have stopped allowing vessels to leave for the Philippines due to security concerns following a spate of ship hijackings in the southern Philippines, a government official said on Wednesday.

Departure permits for the Philippines were no longer available for shipping vessels at the Port of Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan and Tarakan in North Kalimantan, said Indonesia’s acting director general of sea transportation Umar Aris.

“The situation in the Philippines is considered not safe and some of our ships were hijacked,” Aris told Reuters.

“Tomorrow, I’ll have a meeting with the Navy and State Intelligence Agency to further discuss the matter. We’re trying to find the best solution.”

A combined 18 crew from Indonesia and Malaysia have been taken captive in three separate attacks on tugboats in Philippine waters close to maritime borders with the two countries.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News