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Jakarta Post

Bakamla continues its investigation into stolen fiber optic cables

  • Fadli

    The Jakarta Post

Batam, Riau Islands   /   Wed, May 30, 2018   /   05:41 pm
Bakamla continues its investigation into stolen fiber optic cables Under investigation: Maritime Security Board (Bakamla) head Vice Admiral Arie Soedewo checks undersea fiber optic cables confiscated from looters during his visit to the board's western zone base on May 29. (JP/Fadli)

The Maritime Security Board (Bakamla) has reached out to telecommunication companies to help with its investigation into the theft of fiber optic cables that had been found in the possession of eight alleged looters.

The cables, which stretch 3.2 kilometers long and ran from the Riau Islands to Singapore, is believed to be worth Rp 5 billion (US$ 357,858), but no one seems to know who they belong to.

“We have called several communication providers that are known to have underwater fiber optic cables and asked them to check whether the stolen cables belong to them,” Bakamla head Vice Admiral Arie Soedewo told The Jakarta Post on Monday. The providers include telecommunication companies Telkom, Matrix and Transmitra.

(Read also: Bakamla foils underwater fiber-optic cable theft in Bintan)

The fiber optic cables had been cut into 800 pieces weighing around 12 tons. "The perpetrators said they were going to sell [the pieces] to a buyer in Bangka Belitung. We are still investigating the matter by involving the National Police's Criminal Investigation Department [Bareskrim]," said Arie.

As previously reported, Bakamla personnel arrested eight people in the waters of Tanjung Berakit, Bintan, Riau Islands, on Saturday after discovering undocumented fiber optic cables on their ship.

During their search, Bakamla personnel also found compressors, diving gear and a hose.

Anton, one of the suspects, said he and his crew were paid Rp 2,500 (18 US cents) for each kilogram of cable they delivered. “We did not receive a salary, but we got paid based on how much cable we manage to steal,” he said. (dpk/ebf)