Singapore concerned at Indonesian detention of boat captain

Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said late last week that it was “deeply concerned with the long-drawn judicial process” in the case of Singaporean boat captain Shoo Chiau Huat who has been detained in Indonesia for more than nine months after being charged with entering Indonesian waters illegally.

The captain was carrying 13 Singaporean and Malaysian tourists on a fishing trip when the boat was stopped on April 16th 2016 by an Indonesian navy patrol. Shoo was charged with illegal fishing and trespassing, but was acquitted by Indonesia’s Tanjung Pinang Court on July 11th.

The Indonesian authorities kept him in detention on charges of immigration offences. These were filed by the Indonesian authorities on October 5th and Shoo was found

guilty on these charges. He was ordered to pay a fine of IDR50m (US$3,750) or serve a five-month prison sentence.

The Singapore ministry claimed that Shoo will not be allowed to leave Indonesia, even if he pays the fine, because more charges could be brought.

“The Singapore Government respects the laws and judicial process of Indonesia. However, we are deeply concerned about the long-drawn judicial process related to Mr Shoo’s case, and his prolonged detention in the interim. We will continue to reiterate to the relevant Indonesian authorities that Mr Shoo’s case be processed expeditiously, so that he can return to Singapore without unnecessary delay.”