GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has reactivated Op Khas Pagar Laut in the country’s waters to curb and combat various cross-border crimes during the Aidilfitri festive season.

MMEA deputy director-general (logistics) Rear Admiral (M) Datuk Saiful Lizan Ibrahim said the operation series 1/2023 will be held from tomorrow until April 30.

“Criminals will probably think that law enforcement during the festive season will be somewhat lax as most security personnel will be on leave and celebrating the festival.

“So, they will try to take this opportunity to engage in criminal activities such as smuggling in illegal immigrants, contraband as well as controlled items, invasion and other crimes via the sea,” he said after launching the Op Khas Pagar Laut today.

Elaborating, Saiful Lizan said MMEA would further tighten control and optimise operations in hotspot locations, especially at the borders of Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

He further said that 800 enforcement officers and personnel with 45 assets would be involved in implementing routine patrols and enforcement in the country’s waters.

“The MMEA is also ready to deploy relevant assets to carry out search and rescue tasks if needed,” he said.

Asked about the development of the Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), Saiful Lizan said the MMEA is expected to receive the first vessel on July 24, while the second and third vessels are expected to arrive at the end of this year and another one early next year.

He added that there was a slight delay in receiving some of the main equipment ordered from abroad, such as cannons from Turkiye and other boat equipment from the United Kingdom, which had delayed the delivery of the vessels to the agency. - Bernama