Mystery of the Super Tanker MT Arman 114: Ownerless Ship, Who is Behind It?

Mystery of the Super Tanker MT Arman 114: Ownerless Ship, Who is Behind It?

MT Arman 114 and MT Stinos during oil transfer in Natuna waters on July 7, 2024 (Photo: Ist)

The supertanker MT Arman 114 is currently under the spotlight due to its involvement in an environmental pollution case in the Natuna and Batam waters in Riau Islands. This ship is not only notorious for its legal issues but also for its valuable cargo: approximately 160 metric tons of light crude oil (LCO) worth nearly IDR 1 trillion.

Built in 1997 by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd in Ulsan, Korea, this ship has changed its name five times throughout its history, from Overseas Meridian in 2011, Meridian Lion in 2013, Grace 1 and Adrian Darya 1 in 2019, to finally becoming MT Arman 114.

According to data from Balticshipping.com, the current recorded owner is Iships Management Pte. Ltd, not Ocean Mark Shipping. The true ownership was not revealed in the Batam District Court.

The actual owner remains a major question, especially as a lawsuit has been filed by the Batam City Branch of the All Indonesian Fishermen's Association (HNSI).

Jacobus Silaban SH, the legal representative of HNSI Kota Batam, told Batamnews.co.id that the identity of the ship's owner is still unclear.

"So far, we have never known who owns the MT Arman 114 because during the trial no one claimed ownership, so the object of the lawsuit is directed at MT Arman 114, and it cannot be proven that Ocean Mark Shipping, based in Syria, is the owner," said Silaban, Tuesday (9/7/2024).

Interestingly, Victor Sailing SH, who claims to be the legal representative of the ship's owner, Mehdi Yousefi, acting on behalf of Ocean Mark Shipping, only appeared after the trial had begun.

"The party claiming to be the owner cannot intervene because they did not appear initially, why only now at the end. Therefore, they have no legal standing as the ship owner in this case," added Silaban.

Furthermore, all parties should be cautious of those claiming to be the ship's owner. It is possible that these parties are falsely claiming ownership.

"This ship is linked to Iran, which is currently under a US embargo due to oil issues, so the relevant parties must be cautious and ensure the true owner of the ship," said Jacobus Silaban.

The intervention of the Iranian Embassy also plays a significant role in this case, with the embassy visiting the Attorney General's Office of Indonesia on June 26, 2024, in Jakarta to inquire about the demand for the seizure of the Iran-flagged ship.

In addressing this issue, the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs of Indonesia is also involved to ensure the validity of the lawsuit filed by HNSI.

"Perhaps the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs wants to ensure that the parties filing this lawsuit are legitimate and whether the legality of the issue is correct or not," said Silaban.

The lawsuit filed by HNSI amounts to IDR 60 billion, considering the losses suffered by fishermen and the value of the ship's cargo estimated at IDR 3 to 4 trillion.

With the first trial scheduled for July 16, 2024, HNSI Kota Batam hopes that this case can be resolved with justice and prevent similar violations in the future.


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