Extra eyes on Johor waters

Selfless duty: Personnel on board ‘KM Perwira’ posing for a photo during the breaking of fast event off the waters of Johor near Kota Tinggi. — Bernama

KOTA TINGGI: The Johor Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will mobilise 200 personnel to safeguard waters in the state during Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Its director, First Admiral (Maritime) Nurul Hizam Zakaria said the deployment of the personnel, who were also involved in Ops Jangkar Haram and Ops Benteng, would be carried out via rotation.

“In addition to being on duty because of the Covid-19 situation, we will also conduct enforcement to tackle issues such as drug smuggling, illegal immigrants and ships

dropping anchor illegally, ” he told reporters after breaking fast with members of the media in the waters east of Johor on Wednesday night.

The event was held on the ship KM Perwira and members of the media were also invited to witness enforcement activities conducted by MMEA.

Nurul Hizam also said that 55 ships, illegally anchoring in Johor waters, were detained under Ops Jangkar Haram from March 23 until Wednesday.

He said among the hotspots where ships illegally anchored was the waters off Tompok Utara Johor, which was less than 60m deep.

The ships would only be released to continue their journey after paying the fine imposed under Section 491B (1)(L) Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952, namely, for dropping anchor without the permission of the Marine Department director, he added. — Bernama

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