KOTA KINABALU: Malaysian security forces intercepted eight vessels from the southern Philippines which attempted to enter waters off Sabah's east coast on Tuesday.
Eastern Sabah Security Command Maritime Enforcement director First Admiral M Karunanithi said on Wednesday that security personnel managed to detain one of the vessels - a pumpboat off Pulau Pandanan.
He said the security forces intercepted the vessels at 5.30am on Tuesday when personnel on the Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) vessel KM Banggi spotted an unidentified craft near Pulau Mataking.
Realising they had been seen, the craft changed direction and sped towards the Philippine waters through the Alice Reef.
About 30 minutes later, the KM Banggi crew spotted another seven unidentified craft each moving at nearly 30 knots.
Once again upon realising that they had been seen by Malaysian security personnel, the boatmen turned their crafts around and headed towards Philippine waters.However, the KM Banggi crew managed to detain one of the pumpboats with two individuals onboard as well 25 jerry cans used to smuggle fuel from Sabah to the southern Philippines.