MMEA arrests five men, foils scrap metal theft


KOTA TINGGI: Five men have been arrested by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) for stealing scrap metal in Johor waters near here.

Tanjung Sedili maritime zone acting director Maritime Kmdr Mohd Najib Sam said MMEA received a complaint at 10.45am on Sunday (April 14) about a tugboat and barge ferrying scrap metal from Labuan heading towards Port Klang.

“Several individuals attempted to steal the items on the barge about 3.8 nautical miles (about 7km) south of Tanjung Penyusop.

“We immediately sent a patrol boat to the area. Upon noticing MMEA’s boat, the suspects tried to escape but failed,” he said in a statement, adding that they were detained at 11.50am.

Mohd Najib said that MMEA officers brought the suspects and vessel to the Pengerang maritime post for further action.

“However, there was a leak in the boat, and it sank near Tanjung Bulat while on the way to the maritime post.

“The five suspects, all Indonesians aged 31 to 53, were then brought to the Tanjung Sedili maritime zone office to aid in investigations,” he said.

The case was classified under Section 380 of the Penal Code for theft, Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 for not possessing any identification documents.

Mohd Najib said this was the ninth theft incident thwarted by MMEA since 2018.

He added that, based on previous cases, the thieves usually targeted slow-moving vessels. They intended to unarm and move in groups to steal scrap metal or other portable items like ropes.

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MMEA , Arrest , Theft , Scrap Metal

   

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