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Saturday January 22, 2011

APMM gets six new patrol boats to combat maritime crisis

JOHOR BARU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) is set to respond swiftly to crimes occurring in Malaysian waters with the addition of six new patrol boats worth RM3.8mil.

The 600hp rigid hull fender boats manufactured by a local maritime company Dalac Marine Engineering and Services Sdn Bhd are the fastest boats in the agency’s fleet of 138 vessels and helicopters nationwide.

Director-general Admiral Datuk Mohd Amdan Kurish said the boats would be able to respond to maritime crimes and emergencies in half the time period it currently takes.

Speedy boats: Two of the rigid hull fenders boats performing a boat manoeuvre demonstration after the boats were handed over to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency yesterday.

“The new boats will enhance the abilities of our men to combat maritime crimes nationwide as speed is an essential element in catching criminals,” he told the media after the boat handing-over ceremony here yesterday.

Admiral Mohd Amdan said the boats are capable of reaching speeds in excess of 50 knots, equivalent to 92.6kph.

Three boats would be used to ply the waters of the southern, northern and eastern regions while the remaining vessel would be for its Special Forces Unit.

Admiral Mohd Amdan added each region had crime activities unique to its location such as the northern region had more smuggling and human trafficking activities while maritime theft activities occurred in the southern area.

“Last year, we foiled 13 attempted robberies in the southern region,” he said.

He said that the number of smuggling cases in the southern region had declined from 28 cases in 2009 to 23 last year.

Admiral Mohd Amdan urged anyone with information on maritime crime activities to contact the APMM southern region hotline at 07-2199 401.

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