JOHOR BARU: The sharp eyes of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) personnel have helped foil an attempt by a smuggler to sneak out from Malaysian waters with 100kg of drugs worth RM5.1mil.
The smuggler, who was on a fibre boat and pretending to be a fisherman, was spotted emerging from the Sungai Boh estuary near the Tanjung Pelepas port at about 9.30pm on Monday.
MMEA deputy director-general (operations) Rear Admiral (Maritime) Kamaruszaman Abu Hassan said the suspicious-looking man then headed towards Tanjung Piai waters in Pontian.
“It was believed to be heading towards the Malaysia-Indonesia maritime border and realising that he was being tailed, the man turned off the lights and sped off to the nearby mangrove swamp.
“He then jumped off the boat and fled into the mangrove forest, ” he said at a press conference yesterday.
Rear Admiral Kamaruszaman said the MMEA patrol boat approached the abandoned boat and checks found four suitcases and a box containing 98 Chinese tea packets with crystal powder believed to be syabu.
He said each of the packets weighed about 1kg.
“This is the sixth and largest drug seizure by Johor MMEA this year, with the total amount of drugs seized to date worth about RM8.18mil.
“We believe the syabu is being sent to third parties at the country’s maritime border to be sold in a neighbouring country, ” he said.
Rear Admiral Kamaruszaman said MMEA was also investigating if it was related to the methamphetamine and ecstasy seizure worth RM10.53mil made in Penang on Dec 3 as the packaging used in both cases was very similar.