Indonesian Pirates Sentenced to 10 Years' Jail

Sun Birdie

Published Jun 25, 2015 8:30 AM by Wendy Laursen

Nine Indonesian pirates have received jail terms of 10 years each for the armed robbery of the chemical tanker Sun Birdie earlier this year.

The pirates, aged between 26 and 48, pleaded guilty in a court case that concluded this week at the Kota Tinggi Sessions Court in Malaysia.

Judge Salawati Djambari found the men guilty under Section 395 of the Penal Code for armed gang robbery which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail and whipping.

The men were unrepresented in court.

The Malaysian-registered tanker went missing around 10pm on January 28 about a mile south of Tanjung Ayam in Johor, Malaysia, and was recovered the next day off Tanjung Penawar, Malaysia. At the time of the attack Sun Birdie was carrying 700 tons of marine fuel oil and had 11 crew members on board.

Two of the nine pirates reportedly jumped overboard but were picked up by a passing tanker, Challenger Premier, and arrested.

After the recovery of the tanker, ReCAAP ISC commended the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) for displaying utmost agility and efficiency in recovering the tanker and arresting the perpetrators on board. From the time the incident was reported to MMEA till the vessel was found and perpetrators arrested, all within 12 hours, the MMEA demonstrated the determination and commitment of the enforcement agency to clamping down illegal maritime activities in the region.

Timely reporting of the incident by the owner, coupled with MMEA’s immediate response, contributed to the arrests and the safety of the crew.