TAWAU – Police are tracking down the owner of the boat which capsized off Batu Payung here while heading to Sungai Nyamuk in Indonesia on Tuesday.
District police chief ACP Fadil Marsus said the boat owner, an Indonesian is believed to be in Sungai Nyamuk.
“Bukit Aman INTERPOL have been noted to help track down Ansar Sakka,” he told Bernama here today.
He said police obtained information about the boat owner from the skipper and his assistant who escaped the tragedy.
“Ardiansyah Abbas (Juma), 23, and Mansur Umar, 25, were identified as the skipper and assistant skipper by the other survivors and following their detention, we managed to get information on the boat owner,” he said.
He said the Ports and Harbours Authority and Fisheries Department verified that the boat had never been registered in Malaysia.
“The dark-blue and white fibre boat had been modified from 17ft to 21ft in length and 6ft wide, using Yamaha 200hp engine,” Fadil said.
He said the cooperation with Indonesian authorities through the Indonesian Republic Consulate in Tawau to find the last victim, Joko Rahman, 35, as well as trace Ansar, was ongoing.
“The last victim has not been found although a bag containing his passport was found in the waters off Batu Payung here on Friday,” he said.
Fourteen of the 15 victims have been found; only four survived.
Meanwhile, the search and rescue (S&R) operation for Joko which was coordinated by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency was suspended at 6pm last night.
Sabah and Labuan Maritime director, Commodore Maritim Mohd Zubil Mat Som said the decision was made after the skipper who is being detained by police revealed that Joko had survived and was in Sungai Nyamuk.
Mohd Zubil said the S&R operation would be reactivated if the information could not be confirmed and Joko remained as “missing” by authorities in both countries.