MMEA foils attempt to smuggle in illegals off Tawau

Tawau MMEA authority with some of those captured in the smuggling attempt of illegals into the country.

KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) foiled attempts to smuggle in five undocumented migrants in two separate incidents in Tawau waters on Monday (Feb 6).

Both interceptions were done by two separate Tawau MMEA patrol boats that were conducting their own Ops Pluto Timur 2/13 and Ops Sejahtera at different sectors.

The first incident was at 8.20am when a suspicious passenger boat moving from Pulau Sebatik towards Tawau mainland was spotted 1.4 nautical miles south of Batu 2 waters.

“Further inspection found a local 66-year-old skipper with two passengers in their 20s, believed to be Indonesian citizens, without valid travel documents.

“The second incident at around 5.30pm involved a dugout canoe (bot jongkong) which was located at 1.06 nautical miles south of Indrasabah waters.

“Inspection on the boat found a 19-year-old local skipper with three passengers, believed to be Indonesian men, that did not possess any valid documents,” Tawau MMEA director Maritime Captain Shahrizan Raman said in a statement on Tuesday (Feb 7).

All the men and boats seized were brought to the Tawau maritime jetty for further investigations under the state Ports and Harbours Enactment and Immigration Act 1959/63 for attempting to enter the country via ungazetted routes.

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