JOHOR BARU: The mystery behind the missing fisherman boats and engines in Pontian district has been solved with the arrest of four culprits believed to be the perpetrators.
Since early of the year, police had received reports of 18 cases of missing boats and engines belonging to local fishermen in the district anchored along the shoreline of Pontian.
Four Indonesian men aged between 30 and 33 were nabbed while trying to flee the country in a boat in Benut off Pontian waters on March 4, at around 3.33am.
“Our men have been monitoring their modus operandi for quite sometime following tip off from local fishermen,” said Southern Region Two marine police Asst Comm Paul Khiu Khon Chiang in a press conference.
He said that the four suspects were nabbed in a 20 minutes boat chase by 10 marine police personnel in two patrol boats while another suspect managed to jump into the sea.
ACP Khiu said the four suspects from Bengkalis, Sumatra were believed to be involved in the 18 cases of missing boats and engines in Pontian.
He said four of the suspects gave a good fight but they were apprehended by the marine police and are detained at the Pontian District police station until March 18, to assist in the investigation.
ACP Khiu said police also discovered three machetes, two metal cutters and a knife from the suspects’ boat as well as two petrol bombs.
“We believe the lighted petrol bombs will be thrown on our boats but on the day they were arrested, the suspects did not manage to throw them,” he added.
The case is being investigated under Section 379 of the Penal Code for theft, Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 for not possessing legal documents.
Investigation would also be carried out under Section 8 of the Explosive Act 1957 for possession of explosives under suspicious circumstances and Section 6 of the Corrosive, Explosive and Dangerous Weapons Act 1958.