KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has seized an abandoned sampan with seven fish bombs in Sabah's northern waters near Pulau Banggi off Kudat.
Two suspects abandoned the boat and dived into the sea before swimming towards a swamp at the island to escape MMEA personnel patrolling the area.
Kudat MMEA commander Boon Chin Chau said they believe the suspects were carrying out fish bombing activities at about 1.50pm on Saturday (Sept 25).
He said an MMEA patrol boat was sent out to the area after receiving information about suspicious activities.
A search of the boat found seven fish bombs made from fertiliser in bottles, a small packet of fish poison and seven explosives along with a wick, he said, adding that the boat and all fish bombing equipment were seized.
He reminded the maritime community to report any criminal misconduct or emergency information to the Kudat Maritime Zone Operations Centre at 088-611 858 or the 24-hour MERS 999 line.
In a separate case, the coast guard successfully thwarted an attempt to smuggle out 1,156 packets of subsidised cooking oil worth RM2,900 in the waters of Kampung Bangau-Bangau in east coast Semporna at 5.30am Saturday.
Semporna MMEA zone commander Norrimi Hassan said an MMEA carrying out operations under Op Pluto Timur moved in on the suspects after receiving intelligence information of suspicious activities in waters close to Kampung Bangau-Bangau area.
"As our team approached the area, they spotted three men transferring the subsidised cooking from a fishing platform," said Norrimi.
"One of the suspects escaped and swam towards the nearby coast," he said, adding that two other suspects who were foreigners aged 16 and 30, were arrested. The cooking oil was being smuggled to a neighbouring country," he added.