MMEA stops tugboat and barge carrying 3,000 tonnes of sand

SIBU: A tugboat and barge laden with 3,000 tonnes of sand have been detained in the Tanjung Manis Maritime Zone for sailing without a port clearance pass.

Zone director Maritime Commander Mohd Ariz Mohd Kassim said the tugboat was on its way from Kuching to Sibu on Wednesday and was detained during the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency's Op Permai.

The vessel was halted in Belawai waters, about 2km south-west of Tanjung Jerijih at about 3.45pm.

"The results of the inspection found that they were sailing without a port clearance pass document.

"Six crew members, two locals and four Indian nationals aged between 22 and 55 years old, were detained. All of them had valid identity documents," Mohd Ariz said in a statement on Thursday (Feb 25).

The tugboat, barge and crew members were escorted to Tanjung Manis HSL Jetty for further investigation.

"The case will be investigated under Section 37 (1) of the Customs Act 1967 for failing to submit port clearance pass documents during the voyage," he added.

Mohd Ariz said the public should contact the Tanjung Manis Maritime Zone Operations Centre at 084-613292 in the event of an emergency or suspicious incident, or the Sarawak State Maritime Operations Centre at 082-432544 or MERS 999 which operates 24 hours.

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