Singapore navy warship scares off sea robbers

The sight of a warship from the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) Maritime Security Task Force sent sea robbers who had boarded a tugboat in the Singapore Strait fleeing yesterday.

The Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the RSN worked closely with the Indonesian navy to apprehend the robbers.

The Malaysian-flagged tugboat Permata 1 was then escorted safely to Singapore waters by the RSS Resilience, a Fearless-class patrol vessel.

The alarm was raised at 9.07am, when the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore's Port Operations Control Centre received a report from the barge, Permata 1, that robbers were boarding the vessel.

WORKING TOGETHER

I am heartened to see the good cooperation between Singaporean, Indonesian and Malaysian enforcement agencies in disrupting the sea robbery attempt on Permata 1.

REAR-ADMIRAL FREDERICK CHEW, Maritime Security Task Force commander

The Maritime Security Task Force, which protects the Republic's waters, immediately deployed the RSS Resilience, which arrived in the vicinity of the incident at 9.21am.

The robbers fled towards Indonesian waters at the sight of the Singapore warship.

The RSN's Information Fusion Centre shared information about the incident and the perpetrators with the Indonesian navy's Western Fleet Sea Security Group, and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, which then deployed their naval assets to assist in the search for the robbers.

Three robbers were apprehended and the stolen cargo was recovered.

The RSS Resilience accompanied Permata 1 to Singapore waters, where the Police Coast Guard boarded the tugboat for investigations. All the crew on board the tugboat were unharmed, Mindef said.

Speaking about the incident, Rear-Admiral Frederick Chew, commander of the Maritime Security Task Force, said: "I am heartened to see the good cooperation between Singaporean, Indonesian and Malaysian enforcement agencies in disrupting the sea robbery attempt on Permata 1."

He added: "In particular, the close cooperation between the RSN and TNI AL (Indonesian navy) is a reflection of the strong ties between our navies.

"We need to continue working closely together to keep up the pressure on sea robbers and to bring sea robbery incidents down."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2015, with the headline 'Singapore navy warship scares off sea robbers'. Print Edition | Subscribe