"Before being arrested, they robbed a number of commercial ships sailing in and around Malacca Strait, or ships anchored in Batam. They were arrested on Thursday (March 5) at around 5:00 p.m. when they left for Tanjungguncang in Batam," commander of the maritime security task force of the Western Fleet Command, Commodore Abdul Rasyid Kacong, said here on Friday.
The six suspects are identified by their initials as N (50), Aa, Tg, S, (30), Rj (22) and Js (21).
The naval officers also seized several tools the gang of ship robbers used to commit their misdeeds, he stated.
"According to reports from neighboring countries, they have robbed ships beyond Indonesian territory several times, such as in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore," Kacong pointed out.
When the navy intensified its patrol operations in the waters off Batam, they moved to the waters around Natuna, Pontianak and even Thailand, he noted.
"While some of them were arrested in the same case, some others escaped when the naval officers were about to catch them," the commander revealed.(*)