SINGAPORE - Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), which has been closely monitoring the case involving boat captain Ricky Tan Poh Hui, on Wednesday (March 15) disputed the facts against the Singaporean.
A ministry spokesman said, after Wednesday's hearing, that the Seven Seas Conqueress, its crew, and passengers, were detained on Aug 20, 2016, by the Indonesian authorities within Singapore territorial waters off Pedra Branca.
Nine Singaporean passengers were released on Sept 1, 2016.
The spokesman added that Singapore has strongly protested the Indonesian government's actions.
"We have emphasised that there is no basis for Indonesia’s detention of the vessel, its crew and passengers, nor for the continued detention of and purported charges brought against Mr Tan in the Tanjung Pinang District Court," the spokesman said.
"In addition, Singapore officials have communicated repeatedly with the relevant Indonesian authorities, at both the national and provincial level, to seek the immediate release of Mr Tan and the vessel, as well as the termination of any purported investigations against him."
The spokesman also said that the MFA had immediately sought consular access to Tan once they learnt of his arrest on Aug 21, 2016, but the access was granted only on Jan 24, 2017.
"MFA will persist in our efforts to secure the immediate release of Mr Tan and the vessel. We will continue to provide all necessary assistance to Mr Tan and his next-of-kin in the interim," the spokesman added.