BUKIT KAYU HITAM : Seven Myanmar nationals believed to have used a marine route to slip into the country illegally through Pulau Langkawi were caught by Customs and Immigration officers at the passenger inspection area in the Langkawi ferry terminal on Thursday (May 9).
State Customs director Datuk Johari Alifiah said: “On May 9 at about 8am, officers detained a woman from Myanmar who behaved suspiciously at the Kuah Passenger Ferry Terminal.
“Upon further inspection, she was found not to have valid travel documents and could not communicate in Bahasa Malaysia,”
“Her detention led to the arrest of six other Myanmar nationals who were all aboard the same ferry heading to the Kuala Perlis terminal. They were three men and three women aged in their 20s and 30s,
“We are conducting investigations to find out where they entered the country and are not ruling out a marine route as some of their bags had traces of mud," Johari said at a press conference at the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security Complex (ICQS) here Sunday (May 12).
He added that Immigration officials believe they used Langkawi as a transit destination before heading to the mainland.
The seven have been remanded until Thursday (May 16) to facilitate investigations under Section 26A, of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007 for suspected arranging and planning directly or indirectly to bring in people illegally to Malaysia.
Meanwhile, in a separate case, Johari said a 61-year-old man was arrested for smuggling in duty-unpaid alcohol by car at the Bukit Kayu Hitam ICQS last Wednesday (May 8).
He said the man modified the roof of his vehicle to try and smuggle in alcoholic beverages worth about RM522 with a duty of RM1,046.
“The man drove his car from Thailand and was stopped at the light vehicle inspection lane of the ICQS based on information received.
“He had been remanded till Wednesday (May 15) for further investigation under Section 135(1)(e) of the Customs Act 1967- attempting to smuggle dutiable goods,” Johari said.