Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - At least four tons of oil waste has been removed from Melayu Beach in Nongsa sub-district, Batam city, Riau Islands, by the local Harbor Master and Port Authority Office (KSOP).

"Until this afternoon, the team tasked with cleaning up the oil waste had managed to collect more than four tons, which were stored in drums and one-ton sacks," KSOP Batam Head M. Takwin informed here on Thursday.

The authority is still cleaning up oil waste from the beach while investigating its origin, Takwin said.

Meanwhile, the Environment and Forestry Ministry has taken samples of the oil to determine where the waste originated from.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Riau Islands Police said it suspected that the oil waste originated from tanker ship MT Pablo plying the China-Singapore route that caught fire off Malaysia’s southern coast.

"Based on a report we received from the Harbor Master and Port Authority Office (KSOP), the oil waste allegedly originated from Gabon-flagged tanker ship MT Pablo sailing from China to Singapore that caught fire in the Malaysian waters two days ago on Monday (May 1, 2023),” Riau Islands Police's Special Crime Director, Senior Commissioner Nasriadi, informed.

The regional police has formed a team to investigate the source of the oil spill, which can be categorized as hazardous waste.

Director of Water and Air Police (Dirpolairud) of Riau Islands Police, Senior Commissioner Boy Herlambang, said that the police has deployed patrol boats to check and monitor the waters along the shoreline to investigate the origin of the waste.

"We are coordinating with local residents to find facts related to the origin of the waste," he said.

An oil spill that allegedly originated from a burning tanker ship in Malaysian waters has polluted Melayu Beach in Batam City.Local residents only found out about the oil spill on Wednesday morning. "The water at the beach was covered in oil," a local resident Raihan remarked while saying that the seawater has turned black.

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Translator: Ilham Y Pratama, Sri Haryati
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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