Singapore

Singapore navy foils S'pore Strait robbery

The sight of a warship from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) sent pirates who had boarded a barge in the Singapore Strait fleeing yesterday.

The RSN worked closely with the Indonesian Navy to catch the sea robbers, the Ministry of Defence said.

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

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 tugboat Permata 1 that robbers were boarding its barge.

The RSN's Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF), 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 shared information on 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 search for them.

Three robbers were caught and the stolen cargo was recovered.

All the crew on board the tugboat were unharmed, the ministry said.

Rear-Admiral Frederick Chew, Commander of the MSTF, 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 (the 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."

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