LANGKAWI: The authorities foiled an attempt to transfer 163,000 litres of subsidised diesel from a Penang-registered tanker to a Phuket-registered tuna boat.
Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) also nabbed 18 foreigners believed to be involved in the diesel smuggling activity in Langkawi waters.
MMEA Maritime District 1 enforcement chief Kapt Abdul Rahim Abdullah said the 329-tonne tanker MT Pohsuan and the Dong Cherng tuna boat had been seized to facilitate investigation.
He said the MMEA patrol team stumbled upon the tanker that was in the midst of transferring subsidised diesel into a container on a tuna boat during a routine operation at 10.52am on Wednesday.
The tanker and the tuna boat were about 12 nautical miles from Pulau Rebak Besar when the MMEA team carried out the raid.
“We caught them as they were transferring the diesel from the tanker to the tuna boat. We found 112,656 litres of diesel in the tanker. A total of 38,544 litres of diesel were already transferred to the boat,” he said.
He said action would be taken under Supply Control Act 1961.
Individuals, if found guilty, are liable to a fine of RM100,000 for first-time offenders and RM250,000 for second-time offenders.
Companies found guilty are liable to a fine of RM250,000 for first time offenders and RM500,000 for second time offenders.