KOTA KINABALU: A Mongolia-registered dredger ship was seized by the authorities for extracting sand without permission from the local authority in waters off Sabah’s northern Kota Belud district on Monday (March 20).
The marine police made the seizure during an operation called Op Terancang at Usukan Island at about 5pm.
According to a source, the marine police estimated the ship and sand seized to be worth some RM7.5mil.
The source added that marine personnel and officers located the ship some 0.38 nautical miles from Usukan Island.
"Following an inspection, the skipper, an Indonesian citizen, failed to furnish any permit to enable the dredger to extract sand from the waters in the area," the source said.
It was understood that the marine police subsequently arrested the skipper along with two Chinese crew members.
When contacted, Region 4 Marine Police commanding officer Asst Comm Ahmad Ariffin confirmed the arrest and seizure.
"The vessel and sand on it have been seized to be referred to the relevant agencies for further action," he said.