JOHOR BARU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has seized RM160,000 worth of drugs from a man impersonating as a fisherman in Tanjung Piai waters.
Johor MMEA director First Admiral (Maritime) Aminuddin Abdul Rashid said that the 38-year-old local suspect attempted to smuggle out 3.2kg of drugs, believed to be syabu, from Pendas near Gelang Patah to Pulau Nipah in Indonesia.
"An MMEA patrol boat was patrolling the area under Ops Benteng when it spotted a suspicious boat some 3.8 nautical miles southeast of Tanjung Piai at around 3.30am on Friday (July 17) morning.
"My men saw the suspect dumping away a few plastic drums into the sea, where we immediately detained him for further investigations," he said during a press conference held at the state MMEA headquarters here on Sunday (July 19).
Aminuddin pointed out that further inspection on the boat found one drum hidden below the seat where it contained the drugs.
He added that the suspect, who also tested positive for drugs, admitted to working as a drug smuggler since 2012.
"The suspect will get cash payments of between RM2,000 and RM4,000 depending on the size of the drugs transported," he said, adding that MMEA was also investigating where the suspect received the supplies.
Aminuddin pointed out that initially, MMEA thought the suspect was a legitimate local fisherman as they also found fishing equipment inside the boat.
"However, no fisherman that operates a small boat will dare to cast their net in choppy waters. Furthermore the boat used by the suspect did not have a licence, which prompted my men to inspect him," he added.
He said the case was being investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which carried the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
Aminuddin urged the public, especially fishermen, to continue sending in information regarding suspicious activities in the sea through the MMEA hotline at 07-2199404.
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