SINGAPORE: Three people were arrested after they attempted to rob a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier in the Singapore Strait on Monday (Mar 16), said the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in a media release. 

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) Port Operations Control Centre received a report at around 5am that robbers had boarded the ship Sam Jaguar. 

By then, the ship crew had locked the robbers in the engine room, said MINDEF. 

To prepare itself to respond if the vessel entered Singapore territorial waters, the Republic of Singapore Navy’s Maritime Security Taskforce began to closely monitor the vessel and despatched the littoral mission vessel RSS Independence and the Police Coast Guard towards the location of the incident.

Personnel onboard RSS Independence monitoring the Sam Jaguar on Mar 16, 2020. (Photo: MINDEF) 

At the same time, the Information Fusion Centre (IFC) shared details about the incident with Indonesian authorities. A report was also shared with the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia (ReCAAP), said MINDEF.  

The Indonesian Navy subsequently deployed two ships and a helicopter to hail and board the vessel in Indonesian territorial waters, which led the Indonesian authorities to arrest the three suspects. 

The crew on board were safe and unharmed, said MINDEF. 

Head of IFC Lieutenant-Colonel Gary Ow said that the result of this incident was due to “good cooperation and quick response” between Singapore and Indonesia’s enforcement agencies. 

“By working closely together with the shipping community and littoral states to monitor our waters and share information, we can quickly cue operational responses and keep up the pressure on sea robbers to bring sea robbery incidents down,” he said. 

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