The ship was detained in the morning hours of 3 October while conducting the STS transfer, for failing to obtain permit for the activity from the Marine Department director, under the Section 491B (1)(k) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952.

The Malaysian-flagged ship, identified as 'Abbas', was transferring 120 metric tonnes of marine gasoil (MGO) to the Hong Kong-registered 'SafMarine Chilka', New Straits Times reported.

According to the Southern Region Marine Department director Dickson Dollah as quoted by local media, officials from the Marine Department found that the ship's name did not appear in records for sale of MGO, and, upon inspection, they discovered fake documents which led to the detention.

He added that the ship was detained 'by chance', as shipping activities at sea fell under the jurisdiction of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

Officials believe that the ship had made this more than one times.