Mon, 08 Dec 2003

Specialist platform thieves arrested

CIREBON, West Java: A sea police unit from West Java Police has arrested four people suspected to have stolen equipment from an offshore oil platform in north Java coastal waters.

The four suspects, who apparently specialized in stealing platform equipment at sea, were Jaenudin, 34, Alex Maki, 32, Basri Bin Sakman, 30, and Abu Adi, 32, all Jakarta residents.

In the arrest, the police also confiscated evidence from the suspects, including a 20-meter hydraulic steel pipe and some machine tools worth hundreds of millions of rupiah.

Chief of the police unit Adj. Sr. Comr. Abdul Gafur told reporters on Saturday that the arrest was carried out when the four suspects tried to unscrew Pertamina offshore platform equipment in the Bravo Area Platform SCA in Subang regency on Wednesday night at around 8 p.m.

"Judging by their operation, they are experienced professionals," Gafur said.

He added they would be charged under Article 363 of the Criminal Code, which carries a maximum jail sentence of five years. The four suspects are now in the unit's custody in Cirebon. -- JP