JOHOR BAHRU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) detained a local boat skipper southwest of Tanjung Piai waters yesterday on suspicion of attempting to smuggle four Indonesian men out of Malaysia.

Johor Maritime director Maritime First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said the 48-year-old man was arrested along with the four foreigners aged 25 to 38 at 8 pm.

He said the skipper was spotted by a maritime patrol boat while transporting the four foreigners using a fiberglass boat.

“The maritime patrol boat detected the suspicious, unnumbered fiberglass boat before it sped off towards Indonesian waters upon seeing the maritime presence.

“Acting swiftly, they managed to intercept the fiberglass boat and subsequently conducted further inspections,” he said in a statement today.

Nurul Hizam said preliminary investigations found that all the Indonesian nationals were trying to be taken out of Malaysian waters to Tanjung Balai, Indonesia.

He said all five, along with the boat, were taken to the Sungai Pulai Maritime jetty.

The suspects were then brought to the Johor Maritime headquarters for further investigation.

He said the skipper is being investigated under Section 26B of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (ATIPSOM) 2007, and the foreigners, under Section 5(2) of the Immigration Act 1959. - Bernama

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