PONTIAN: Six Indonesian women died in a boat tragedy in waters off Pontian, says the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
The agency's Johor director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said all seven victims that were missing after their boat capsized have been found.
Six of them perished and one survived.
He also said the fibre boat that was coming from Pulau Jalung in Batam, Indonesia, was ferrying 13 individuals, believed to be illegal immigrants attempting to enter the country.
“Earlier this morning, four women and two men were rescued by local fishermen," he said.
“A search and rescue operation was then activated where we found three more women; two of them were dead and one was alive. The bodies of four more women were later found at about 2.30pm,” he added, saying that the victims are between the ages of 25 and 35.
He updated the media at a press conference at the Persatuan Nelayan Pontian jetty here on Tuesday (Jan 18).
Also present was Pontian OCPD Supt Mohamad Shofee Tayib, who said that the two skippers, who survived the incident, would be investigated for human smuggling.
“The two skippers have been brought to the Pontian police headquarters and a remand order will be applied.
“They will be investigated under Section 26A of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007,” he added.
It was earlier reported that seven Indonesian nationals went missing after the boat they were on had capsized in Pontian waters.
Six others who were on board were found and rescued by a local fishing boat at about 0.3 nautical miles south-west of Pontian Besar on Tuesday (Jan 18) morning.
More to come