We have seen buses parked at the terminal and we assume that these buses are transporting the gamblers. - A.RAHMAN MAHADI
JOHOR BARU: Action cannot be taken against leisure ferries and cruise ships offering gambling activities onboard, as the vessels are in international waters.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) southern region enforcement chief Maritime First Admiral Adon Shalan said that the agency was fully aware of such activities but unable to take action against the operators as the activities were not taking place on Malaysian waters.
He said that the agency had early this year received a directive from Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin for the MMEA to keep a close eye on the “floating casinos”.
“We have spotted the vessels on several occasions but could not take action as they were not flouting our laws,” Adon when contacted recently.
He explained that if the vessels were found to encroach the Malaysian waters and illegally conduct the onboard gambling activities, MMEA would not hesitate to take immediate against the ship operators.
Adon was commenting on the call made by Pertubuhan Penyatuan Pembelaan Melayu Malaysia (PPPMM) to the relevant authorities to clamp down such activities, which had been going on the
international waters for many
Its president A. Rahman Mahadi had alleged that the syndicates were also putting the lives of gamblers at risk as most of them did not hold international passports when going out to sea to gamble on the cruise ships.
When reporters asked for prove of gamblers not possessing identification documents, A Rahman said that the association had yet produce any substantial evidence on its allegations.
“We have conducted investigations including stationing our men at the Pasir Gudang Ferry Terminal to observe the movement of the gamblers.
“We have also seen buses parked at the terminal and we assumed that these buses are transporting the gamblers,” he said.
A, Rahman expressed his fears that the gamblers were jeopardising their lives in case the cruise vessels sunk and search and rescue operations would be difficult as those onboard gamblers did not possess passports.