JOHOR BARU: Three vessels were seized by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) in the east coast of Johor on Sunday (Oct 13).
“The first ship named Lima Sore was intercepted at 7.30am some 3.5 nautical miles south of Tanjung Penyusop, ” said Tanjung Sedili Zone MMEA director maritime captain Mohd Zulfadli Nayan.
He added that three Indonesians were found on the boat.
“The suspects, aged between 21 and 47, will be investigated under Section 44 and 49 of the Customs Act 1967 for hovering, ” he said in a statement Monday (Oct 14).
The second boat, which was a water taxi, was seized at 9.26am, when an MMEA patrol boat saw it behaving suspiciously some 2.5 nautical miles south of Tanjung Bulat.
“The water taxi’s Tekong (boat skipper) and his passenger will be investigated under Section 26J of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007, ” he said.
Zulfadli added that the two suspects, aged 25 and 33, will also be investigated under Section 44 of the Customs Act for hovering and Section 5 of the Immigration Act 1959/63 for unauthorised entry into the country.
He also said that the seizing of these two boats is done to enforce the port circular No. 67/2017, which sees the prohibition of foreign-registered vessels from operating or providing marine services in all ports in the state.
“These operations are also preventive measures against acts of theft that can be conducted through the use of boats such as these, ” he added.
At 1pm on the same day, a motor tanker was also seized some 7.4 nautical miles east of Tanjung Penawar.
The ship, manned by a crew of nine Indonesians including its captain, aged between 27 and 47, were subsequently arrested and investigated under Section 491B(I) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance Act 1952 for anchoring without permission.
Zulfadli said the ship named FITRI 7 with Port Malabo, Equatorial Guinea as its registered port, was also found to have breached section 72(1) of the same Act.
“The ship did not have a sufficient number of crewmen in accordance to the safe-manning document, ” he added.
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