An Indonesian fishing boat has been detained by a Navy Western Fleet Quick Response team for allegedly taking 10 Singaporeans to fish illegally in the waters of Bintan Island, Riau Islands province on Friday.
"The boat KM Rantau Bertuah, which is an Indonesian-flagged fishing vessel, was from Batam heading to the waters of Lagoi with three crew and 12 passengers. Two of the passengers are Indonesians and 10 are Singaporeans," Indonesian Navy said in a statement published on its website.
The Jakarta Post reported Tanjungpinang Naval Base spokesman Maj. Josdy Damopoli saying, "The boat was seized because it was operating without a permit and manifest."
He also informed that this was the third time Singaporeans had been arrested for illegal fishing and some of the arrested fishermen, who are aged between 33 and 55 years, could not produce their passport.
"Because they do not have passports, they will be handed over to the immigration office," said Josdy according to the news website.
Western Fleet Rear Admiral Aan Kurnia has beefed up the security and ordered the Navy to unleash a crackdown on illegal fishing.
"This is part of efforts to combat illegal activity in Indonesian waters," Josdy said.
Following the arrest, Riau immigration office head Engelbertus Rustarto said that the 10 Singaporeans will be thoroughly investigated and his office will whether to deport or prosecute them.
"They have not been handed over to us, but we will need to determine any crimes they may have committed," he said, as reported.