MMEA's Ops Khas Pagar Laut leads to 63 arrests and RM5mil worth of seizures

PORT KLANG: During Ops Khas Pagar Laut nationwide, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) arrested 63 individuals and made seizures worth RM5mil.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the operations were in line with MMEA’s objective to curb and combat cross-border crime.

“If left unchecked, the country could face issues and suffer millions in losses due to the actions of individuals or groups who use the festive season to engage in criminal activities and law violations at sea,” he said on board the KM Tun Fatimah offshore patrol vessel (OPV) on Monday.

Saifuddin said that the success of MMEA’s operations was based on the agency's asset capabilities in carrying out the operations.

“Every agency under the Ministry has been directed to enhance surveillance and monitoring nationwide, including border areas.

“This is necessary as security threats are now dynamic and complex. It requires agencies under the ministry to take swift and effective action,” he said.

Meanwhile, MMEA director-general Admiral Datuk Hamid Mohd Amin said in addition to enforcement, the MMEA was also prepared to carry out search and rescue duties if any incidents involving vessels or boats carrying foreign nationals to return to their hometowns occur.

“Foreign nationals, especially illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries, could take the risk to return to their respective hometowns by boarding boats or barges that do not have safety features and use uncharted routes.

“This could put their safety at risk,” he said.

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