KUCHING: Two cargo ships have been seized for illegally transferring more than 9,000 pieces of sawn timber from one to the other, off Sarawak's western coast.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Sarawak region chief Kept Muhammad Abdul Basar Taji said on Friday that the two ships, the Indonesian-registered Sarana Bahari and Sarawak-registered Starlite Glory, were caught in the act by the agency’s patrol boat KM Ikhlas on Thursday afternoon.
“Some 9,640 pieces of sawn timber were being illegally transferred from the Sarana Bahari to the Starlite Glory near Talang-Talang Kecil island, about nine nautical miles from Tanjung Datu,” he told reporters at the Marine Department’s office at Muara Tebas here on Friday.
The sawn timber, measuring 3.66m long by 0.9m square was believed to have originated from central Kalimantan.
Abdul Basar said the case would be handed over to the state Customs Department for further investigation.
The crew of both ships, comprising 13 Indonesians on the Sarana Bahari and four Malaysians and four Myanmarese on the Starlite Glory, have been detained.