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Captain Sentenced to Seven Years in Jail for Hazardous Waste Smuggling

PPID cramoil equity
Indonesian inspectors examine Cramoil Equity's cargo (PPID)

Published Jul 25, 2022 7:36 PM by The Maritime Executive

A district court in Batam, Indonesia has issued a seven-year jail sentence for the master of the workboat Cramoil Equity for entering Indonesian waters with barrels of hazardous liquid waste.

In mid-June 2021, the Batam Port Authority received a tip that the Belize-flagged Cramoil Equity was carrying hazardous waste without a permit in the waters of Batam. The agency's patrol team ordered the ship to leave, but it allegedly did not comply. 

Two days later, the patrol team found Cramoil Equity still within Indonesian waters. A boarding team found 20 bulk containers of toxic waste on the back deck, each containing about 250 gallons of liquid. Transporting hazardous waste into Indonesian waters without a permit is a violation of the nation's environmental laws, punishable by up to a maximum of 15 years in prison. 

The captain, identified as 48-year-old Indonesian national Chosmus Palandi, was convicted of transporting hazardous waste in June 2022 and sentenced to seven years in jail, plus a fine of $330,000 (or an additional three months in jail). The outcome of the case was announced in July. 

The case may expand beyond a penalty for the captain alone. Indonesia's ministry of the environment is working with the Indonesian embassy in Singapore to try to track down the cargo's origin. The vessel's operator, Cramoil Singapore, has previously been cited by Singaporean authorities for alleged discharge of untreated wastewater. 

"Firm action against waste smuggling and any act against the environment must be carried out to protect Indonesian waters and environment," the ministry said in a statement.