KOTA TINGGI: The Malaysian Maritime Enforce­ment Agency (MMEA) thwarted an attempt by a group of foreign men to steal items on board a commercial vessel in Teluk Ramunia waters, off Pengerang, early yesterday.

Johor MMEA deputy operations director Sanifah Yusof said at 3am on Sunday, an MMEA patrol team from the Tanjung Sedili Maritime Zone came across two wooden boats, both named ‘Lima Sore’ secured to the ‘M.T. Ponier’ vessel that was anchored about 2.9 nautical miles south of Teluk Ramunia.

Suspecting something amiss, the team conducted checks and came across four men attempting to cart away items on board, including metal scraps, Sanifah said, adding that the suspects were duly arrested and found to be Indonesians, aged between 27 and 29, and from Batam island.

All was going on well for the MMEA team until one of the patrol boats experienced a breakdown on their way back to the Maritime base in Tanjung Pengelih, when two of the four suspects decided to jump for their freedom and swam off.

However, the MMEA’s close cooperation with their Indonesian counterparts led to the arrest of the two in Batam at 6pm.

“The first two is now in custody at the Kota Tinggi district police headquarters while the two arrested in Batam will be sent over here today,“ she told newsmen in a press conference today.

The case is being investigated under Section 380 and Section 445 of the Penal Code for theft and breaking in.

Sanifah advised vessel operators to improve security onboard and to immediately alert the authorities if they notice suspicious boats approaching. — Bernama

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