Iranian VLCC seized for STS Transfer Off Indonesia!
Indonesian maritime authorities have detained an Iranian tanker and a Chinese-operated VLCC for conducting an ship-to-ship transfer in a prohibited area. The two vessels were operating dark without AIS, and they did not respond to radio calls, according Indonesia's coast guard.
While under way on a patrol off Pontianak, Kalimantan on Sunday morning, the Indonesian Coast Guard cutter KN Marore-322 picked up a radar contact with no associated AIS signal about 20 nm to the east of Penjantan Island. At about 0530 hours, commanding officer Lt. Col. Yuli Eko Prihartanto ordered the cutter to move closer and investigate.
At about 0600 hours, Marore-322 spotted two merchant tankers carrying out a ship-to-ship transfer, with cloth or net hung out over the vessel's names to obscure their identities.
An initial inspection revealed that the two tankers were the Iranian-flagged VLCC Horse and the Panamanian-flagged, Chinese-operated VLCC Freya.
Indonesian officials allege that the tankers violated regulations by anchoring outside of a designated zone; carrying out an illegal ship-to-ship fuel transfer; not displaying their flag states; turning off AIS; and (for the Freya) allegedly spilling oil.
Both tankers were escorted to Batam for further investigation.
BREAKING Indonesia's Coast Guard has secured two tankers engaged in an unauthorized STS (Ship-to-Ship) transfer of oil off their coast, while (mandatory) AIS was switched off. One of them is the Iranian VLCC "HORSE", which supplied 2M barrels of gas condensate to Venezuela. #OOTT https://t.co/3fbbsFv3Co— TankerTrackers.com, Inc.⚓️???? (@TankerTrackers) January 24, 2021
Source: Maritime Executive (Click for furtehr of the article)