MMEA nabs 37 undocumented migrants trying to enter Malaysia via Kuala Selangor

SEREMBAN: Some 37 Bangladeshis were nabbed by the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) as they tried to enter the country illegally by boat in waters off Kuala Sepang in Selangor.

Melaka and Negri Sembilan MMEA director Capt Iskandar Ishak said his men also detained four Indonesians who tried to smuggle in the migrants on the boat, popularly known as "bot pancung", during the 1am operation.

"We launched an operation after our radar detected the movement of a suspicious-looking contact entering Malaysian waters around 11pm on June 30.

"One of our patrol boats was despatched to the area and we found an unregistered boat some 1.2 nautical miles in waters off Kuala Sepang," he said in a statement.

Capt Iskandar said the Indonesian tekong (coordinator) and his four assistants aged between 18 and 46 also failed to provide any identification documents when requested.

He said all 41 on board were then brought to the MMEA jetty and detained.

The case, he said, was being probed under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Amendment) Act 2022 and the Immigration Act 1959/63.

He said the MMEA had intensified monitoring and enforcement along the hotspots to prevent any cross-border crime as the country entered the transition to the Covid-19 endemic phase.

Those with information can also call the MMEA operations line at 06-3876 730 or 999 which operates 24 hours.

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