KOTA TINGGI: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has arrested 33 Indonesians for attempting to enter the country illegally.
Tanjung Sedili maritime zone director maritime captain Mohd Zulfadli Nayan said the illegal immigrants, comprising 27 men and six women, and between the ages of 18 and 46, were detained during an operation at around 8pm on Wednesday (May 15).
“During the operation, we spotted a group of illegal immigrants coming out from their boat along a coastal area near a hotel in Desaru.
“The sea water is quite deep, and the boat that was ferrying the group then turned around when it saw MMEA personnel coming close,” he said in a statement on Thursday (May 16).
Mohd Zulfadli added the enforcement operation turned into a "rescue" operation, with MMEA fearful of the illegal immigrants lives and whether there were children on board.
He also said that the MMEA detained one of the suspects that were waiting at the coastal area.
“Our patrol boat then tried to chase down the suspect’s vessel, but it was too quick as it had between three and four engines, and was able to escape into international waters,” he said.