The Indonesian authorities have nothing to say against the Russian ship Professor Goryunov, which was detained Friday by the northeastern extremity of the island of Sumatra, Riouw waters. The Russian vessel was heading for Singapore with a load of sand under a contract it had signed with an Indonesian enterprise.
According to Colonel Adjaman, who heads the naval base of Batam, the sailors that searched the ship were apprehensive about cargo exportation documents produced by the captain of the ship. A check into the documents was needed, and it was that check that accounted for detainment of the ship in question and six more ships that were also delivering sand to Singapore.
The insular republic of Singapore needs about 1.8 billion cubic meters of sand to implement a program of territorial expansion by means of draining of strips of coastal land. The sand is mainly delivered from the neighbouring Indonesia -- but uncontrolled exploitation of sand-pits has eventually led to the province of Riouw losing some of its smaller islands.
Having enlarged its territory by 100 square kilometres, Singapore simultaneously moved farther the border of its territorial waters. According to experts, such "concealed expansion" in the cramped Strait of Singapore is fraught with unpleasant circumstances for some of Singapore's neighbours.
With that in mind, the Indonesian government has taken measures to close some of the sand-pits, revoke licenses from some of the sand exporters, and tighten control over sand export.
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