JOHOR BARU: Six illegal Indonesian immigrants were detained off Tanjung Piai waters near Pontian, according to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
Its Johor director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said they were arrested at 3.7 nautical miles or 6.85km southwest off Tanjung Piai at around 10.45pm on Tuesday (Jan 18).
He said a MMEA patrol boat had detected two suspicious-looking boats in the Tanjung Piai area before one of them turned back and sped off towards the Indonesian waters.
“We managed to detain a wooden boat with three male and three female illegal Indonesian immigrants aged between 23 and 36," Nurul Hizam said in a statement on Wednesday (Jan 19).
He said based on feedback from the suspects detained, the group had been left on the wooden boat from Tanjung Balai, Karimun, at about 7.30pm to enter Johor.
Nurul Hizam said the wooden boat was accompanied by a speedboat steered by a tekong (skipper) on its way to Johor waters.
“However, the tekong decided to turn back to the Indonesian waters upon realising the presence of our patrol boat in the area," he added.
He said the 40-horsepower wooden boat was brought to the Sungai Pulai jetty while the six detainees were taken to the Johor MMEA headquarters to facilitate investigation.
They are being detained under the Immigration Act 1959/1963 for illegally entering the country, he said.