LAHAD DATU, May 4 (Bernama) — The Indonesian-registered ‘Anand 12’ barge that was involved in the abduction incident by Abu Sayyaf militants on March 26 has been handed over to its owner today at the Lahad Datu Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) office here.
A laywer appointed by PT Brahma Inernational, Rozanah Said received the barge cession letter on behalf of the company from Sandakan MMEA director Maritime Captain Abd Razak Abdul Rahman and witnessed by the Indonesian Consul in Tawau, Abdul Gayah Zainal.
Abd Razak said the investigation and identifying of the Anand 12 owner process went smoothly with the help of Wisma Putra and the good cooperation of the Indonesian authorities.
He said based on public tip-off, the barge was found in the Malaysian Waters on April 4 and had been towed to the Fordeco jetty at Lahad Datu with the help of the Eastern Sabah Security Command personnel and marine police.
“When found, the barge was laden with coal that was estimated to weigh between 6,300 and 7,000 tonnes,” Abd Razak said.
MMEA investigating officer, Maritime Lieutenant Mohd Eary Ismail said the agency’s forensic division, assisted by the Lahad Datu Fire and Rescue Department had conducted investigations beginning April 5 to 7.
He said the investigations revealed that the towing rope of the barge had not been cut.
In the incident on March 26, the tugboat, Brahma 12 towing the Anand 12 laden with coal from Borneo to the Philippines was seized by the Abu Sayyaf militants while all its 10 Indonesian crew were abducted.