SINGAPORE - A fishing boat caught trying to smuggle a tonne of crystal meth into the country was flying a Singapore flag in a failed attempt to trick the authorities, it was revealed on Monday (Feb 12).
The Indonesian navy captured the vessel on Feb 7 off Batam island and found the drugs hidden in 41 rice sacks.
Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau said on Monday that the boat is not registered here, but in Taiwan as "Shun De Man No66".
It added that preliminary investigations by the Indonesian authorities showed that at the time of interception, the Taiwanese syndicate had used the fictitious name "Sunrise Glory" and falsely flown the Singapore flag.
The boat was spotted by a navy patrol as it entered Indonesian waters in the Singapore Strait.
The vessel was stopped and boarded by navy personnel for inspection in the Phillip Channel, near islands off Batam.
The Straits Times had earlier reported that while the boat was flying a Singapore flag at the time, its Taiwanese crew of four was only able to produce photocopied registration documents, purportedly from Indonesia.
There were also signs that it had used the name Sun De Man 66. A Taiwanese flag was also discovered on board.
Indonesian custom officers, helped by sniffer dogs, later found the drugs during further examinations at Batu Ampar Port in Batam.
They detained the crew for investigation.
On Saturday, another boat used for smuggling cigarettes and liquor was found to have flown the Singapore flag in an attempt to trick the authorities.
It was foiled by the Malaysian authorities in Johor Baru, the Bernama news agency reported.
A team from from Malaysia's Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency intercepted the boat at around 6pm on Saturday about two nautical miles off Tanjung Piai in Pontian.