The Indonesian Navy's Tanjung Pinang Western Fleet Quick Response unit apprehended two vessels allegedly attempting to smuggle fuel and cigarettes from Singapore to the border areas in separate operations over the weekend.
The Tanjung Pinang Navy Commander Commodore S. Irawan said the two Indonesian-flagged vessels did not have any relation to one another but were arrested on the same day.
"The arrest was the result of an intelligence operation. We caught the vessels when they were making a transaction of the boats' cargo on the sea," he told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
The Navy reportedly caught the vessel Mega Sari with 430,000 cigarettes without an excise band from Singapore. Reportedly, the Navy personnel moved in when the vessel's crew members were moving the various brands of cigarettes to three other boats that were to bring the cigarettes to Meranti, Karimun and Batam islands.
In another arrest, the team seized 290 tons of illegal fuel, which the Navy suspects was to be transferred to other boats in the middle of the sea, Irawan added.
He said that the two boats had allegedly violated the 2006 Customs and Excise Law and the 2008 Shipping Law. The team will co-operate with police and the Customs and Excise Office to handle the case.
The boats, along with the helmsmen and their crews, have been brought to the Navy headquarters in Tanjung Pinang.