THE Malaysian Maritime Enforce- ment Agency (MMEA) made their first catch recently – 18 tonnes of timber from two Indonesian boats.
Southern region chief enforcement officer Captain (maritime) Che Hassan Jusoh said the agency’s patrol boat stopped the two 21m-long boats on their way to Batu Pahat from Tanjung Pinang, Indonesia, at 10.45am last Wednes- day.
The boats, which were about 9km (5 nautical miles) away from Batu Pahat, were escorted to the town’s Fisheries jetty for further checks.
“We found that they did not have proper documentation for the cargo although the crew had valid travel documents on them,” said Capt Hassan.
The crew, six Indonesian men, were not detained but remained on their boats, which were locked at the Fisheries Department jetty in Batu Pahat.
Capt Hassan said the agency was not empowered to charge them, but would leave it to the relevant agencies such as Customs to do so.
MMEA had only begun operations three weeks back, on Nov 30.