KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police are investigating three Health Department drivers for suspected involvement in human smuggling using government vehicles.
The drivers were arrested for ignoring police orders to stop at three roadblocks on Sabah's east coast.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said on Wednesday (July 21) that the suspects were being investigated under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (Atipsom) for suspected involvement in smuggling migrants from Lahad Datu to Tawau.
He said they were also looking at the possibility of using the Prevention of Crime Act against the three suspects who were arrested after they sped through three inter-district road blocks on July 13.
"It is still under investigation," Comm Hazani said.
Photos of the suspects and seized vehicles have been going viral on social media over the last two days.
The three suspects, aged 39 to 48, from the Kunak district, were initially arrested for obstructing a policeman from carrying out his duties as well as failing to stop at a roadblock at KM38 Kunak-Lahad Datu at about 8pm on July 13.
It was learned that the suspects, in two Health Ministry-registered vehicles, ignored orders to stop at the KM38 roadblock when something was spotted among the baggage inside the vehicles.
The drivers sped through the roadblock and two more along the road to Tawau despite being ordered to stop.
Police tracked them down and arrested them in Tawau.
It is learned that the suspects were ferrying 15 illegal immigrants from Lahad Datu to a drop-off point in Tawau.
When the suspects were arrested, the illegal immigrants were no longer in the vehicles.