Its Johor director, First Admiral Aminuddin Abdul Rashid, said the 38-year-old local suspect tried to smuggle 3.2kg of drugs, believed to be methamphetamine (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.
“My men saw the suspect dumping a few plastic drums into the sea before we detained him,” he said at a press conference yesterday.
Further inspection of the boat revealed a drum hidden below the seat, which contained drugs, Aminuddin said.
The suspect, who also tested positive for drugs, admitted to having been a drug smuggler since 2012, he added.
“The suspect would get cash payments between RM2,000 and RM4,000 depending on the size of the consignment transported,” he said, adding that MMEA was also investigating where the suspect obtained the supplies.
Aminuddin said MMEA initially thought the suspect was a local fisherman as they also found fishing equipment inside the boat.
“But no fisherman who operates a small boat would dare to cast his net in such choppy waters, and the boat he was using was also unlicensed, which prompted my men to question him,” he added.
He said the case was being investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
Aminuddin urged the public, especially fishermen, to continue sending in information regarding suspicious activities at sea through the MMEA hotline at 07-219 9404.