KOTA KINABALU: An attempt by two men to smuggle in 40 live cockerels into Semporna has been foiled by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
Semporna MMEA director Commander Amir Shubli said his men were on routine patrol at about 2.40am Wednesday (July 12) in waters off Kampung Kuala Bibang after receiving a tip-off about suspicious activities in the area.
On reaching the location, he said, they spotted two boats heading towards a water village.
"When the team approached, both boats' skippers jumped into the water and disappeared into the darkness under the stilt houses at the village," he said.
"Following a check, the team found the 40 cockerels in (plastic cages), worth about RM40,000, smuggled in from a neighbouring country.
"We believe the chickens were meant for cockfighting activities," he said.
Amir said the MMEA was in the midst of tracking down the suspects who they believe are heavily involved in smuggling activities in Semporna.
He added the case was being investigated under Section 135(1)(a) of the Customs Act 1967 for transporting illegal items.
Amir said the Semporna MMEA would also intensify patrols in hot spots to curb smuggling activities as well as the entry of illegal immigrants.
He urged those with information on illegal activities to report it to the Semporna MMEA operations centre at 089-782 619 or the Malaysia Emergency Response Service (MERS) 999 number.