Two men were detained on board a traditional boat with 260 plastic jerrycans, believed to be filled with 6,500 litres of petrol, at about 1am near Pulau Bohayen waters yesterday.
Semporna maritime zone director commander Norrimi Hassan said MMEA personnel on board a patrol boat ordered the vessel to stop for a routine check.
“Our enforcement officers tried to flag down the vessel but the skipper, aged 35, sped off.
“A chase ensued and we managed to intercept the vessel.
“Checks showed the skipper and a boatman, aged 31, had no valid documents,” he said.
Norrimi said the boat was believed to be making its way to Sitangkai in the Philippines with the jerrycans.
It was the fifth case of attempted smuggling caught by MMEA in Semporna this year.
Norrimi said the seized items, comprising the boat, outboard engine and the jerrycans, were estimated to be worth RM68,000 and had been towed to Azumi camp jetty in Semporna.
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