Filipino captain Glenn Madoginog has revealed how he was held for months in Indonesia after being accused of illegally anchoring an International Seaways tanker.
The master of the 69,700-dwt Seaways Rubymar (built 2002) was jailed earlier this year after the shipowner refused to pay bribes to release him, Reuters reported.
The 47-year-old was one of dozens of captains held at the Batam naval base, accused of entering territorial waters without a permit while waiting to dock in Singapore.
Most were freed after a few weeks once owners made unofficial payments to navy intermediaries of between $300,000 and $400,000, numerous sources told the news agency.
Madoginog spent six months at the Batam base before being sentenced in March to 60 days in jail.
He shared a crowded, cockroach-infested cell with murderers and child rapists, he said.
“The last few months were the worst time of my life,” Madoginog told Reuters in Manila, to which he returned in May. “I feel hopeless. I feel ashamed.”
International Seaways, which sold the tanker for scrap in April, said it had pursued all legal avenues to get Madoginog and the vessel released.
“As a matter of policy, we do not pay bribes,” the US-listed owner told Reuters.
The company added it had done all it could to improve Madoginog’s conditions while in custody.
Financial and medical help
Seaways also continued to provide financial and medical support to him and his family.
The navy has cracked down on vessels it says are anchoring in its territory without paying port fees, but has denied requesting or receiving cash to release ships.
In July, a master of a product tanker accused of illegally anchoring in Indonesian waters was jailed for 15 days.
Vivek Kumar was also fined IDR 200m ($13,350). The 50,000-dwt Nord Joy (built 2018) was released after the 7 July decision by a Batam court.