What Pirates Targeting on Riau Islands Waters

Padangekspres.net-The Indonesian police headquarters plans to station more patrol boats in Riau Islands, Riau, North Sumatra and Aceh waters to deal with a rise in piracy.

"These waters are highly prone to piracy," the head of the National Patrols Directorate at the Indonesian Police Headquarters, Sr Com Triyono Wibowo, said here on Friday.

"There are only four patrol boats in the waters now. We will station four more patrol boats there this year," he said.

He stated the police deemed it necessary to pay more attention to the waters which were one of the busiest sea lanes in Indonesia.

"Pirates have so far been targeting among others fuel and palm oil-laden barges sailing on Riau Islands waters," he said.

Since early this year police had recorded at least two piracy cases in the waters. The first case happened to MT Namsibang carrying 1,800 tons of fuel oil from Surabaya to Samarinda in Masalembo waters on April 15.

The pirates took the vessel to Singapore waters via the Riau Islands waters. The second case happened to Mitra Java V tugboat and Makmur Abadi barge carrying 4,000 tons of palm oil 15-20 miles west of Pontianak, West Kalimantan, on May 29. The addition of patrol boats would hopefully reduce the number of piracy cases in western Indonesia waters, he said.

"We will intensify patrols in the area to free the area of the criminal activity ," he said.[tjp]

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