MMEA's Ops Pagar Laut nets 42 suspects, goods worth RM13mil

GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has made 42 arrests and seized about RM13mil worth of goods and assets in Ops Pagar Laut earlier this month.

Twelve arrests were in connection with high-profile cases involving smuggling of contraband cigarettes, encroachment of undocumented immigrants into Malaysian waters, theft, gang robbery, encroachment by foreign fishermen, and smuggling of controlled goods such as fuel and cooking oil.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the successes were those recorded up to Tuesday (April 25) since the start of the operation on April 9.

Ops Pagar Laut is still ongoing and ends at midnight on April 30.

He said MMEA Johor managed to resolve an armed robbery case involving four local suspects at the Aurora Producer 1 Platform in Tanjung Langsat, Johor on April 24.

"This is the first case of an attempt to steal cables by locals because usually, such cases involve foreigners.

"All the suspects are suspected of committing an offence under Sections 395 and 397 of the Penal Code for gang robbery," he told a press conference here on Friday (April 28).

Earlier, Saifuddin visited and handed over Hari Raya goodies to MMEA officers and personnel of MMEA on duty during Ops Pagar Laut on board KM Burau here.

Present during the ceremony were acting MMEA director-general Rear Admiral (Maritime) Datuk Saiful Lizan Ibrahim and MMEA deputy director-general (operations) Rear Admiral (Maritime) Hamid Mohd Amin.

Saifuddin said Ops Pagar Laut was part of a continuous effort by MMEA to tighten control and optimise operations in the country's maritime areas, especially on the borders with Thailand and Indonesia.

He said he hoped that MMEA would continue to successfully reduce and curb such activities as the smuggling of immigrants, contraband and controlled goods, as well as the encroachment of foreign fishing vessels.

He said MMEA will continue to monitor and patrol the country's waters with several other operations following Ops Pagar Laut.

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