Two cargo boats seized for transporting controlled goods without permits in Tawau

KOTA KINABALU: Two cargo boats carrying controlled goods without permits were confiscated by authorities in two separate locations in Tawau waters.

Tawau zone Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director Maritime Captain Shahrizan Raman, in a statement on Friday (Feb 23), said both cases occurred on Thursday (Feb 22) with total seizures, including boats, amounting to nearly RM100,000. The two local skippers were also detained.

“In the first case, our patrol team traced a suspicious boat moving swiftly from Tawau waters towards the Malaysia-Indonesia water border at 1.45pm.

“The vessel was intercepted at 0.6 nautical miles north of Muara Sungai Melayu, where the 24-year-old skipper was found transporting 1,000kg of white rice, 561kg of cooking oil in packets, 325 litres of petrol, 48kg of granulated sugar and four tanks of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas).

“On the second case, at 2.30pm, 1.0 nautical mile south of Kuala Sungai Tawau, a 32-year-old skipper was stopped following intelligence tip-off, where our team found 250 litres of diesel inside 10 tanks, 200 litres of petrol in eight tanks, 72 bottles of liquors in various brands and 33 cartons of untaxed cigarettes in his boat.

“Documentation check on the two found both skippers failed to provide a valid permit and license for the controlled items being carried, as well as breaching the Sabah Ports and Harbours Enactment 2002,” said Shahrizan in the statement.

Both skippers and the confiscated goods, including the boats, have been brought to the Tawau maritime jetty and handed over to the investigating officer for probe under the Enactment, Control of Supplies Act 1961 and Customs Act 1967.

Shahrizan assured that the Tawau MMEA will continue to give attention to the smuggling activities, which are rampant at the water border area with Indonesia.

“Even though certain traders have used various tactics to conceal (their activities) from authorities, MMEA will continue to curb smuggling syndicates at border areas.

“Investigations will also focus on smuggling attempts at the nation’s border as that was one of the locations when the arrest was made,” he added.

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