TAWAU- Police in Tawau on Sunday arrested a man believed to be the skipper of the ill-fated speedboat which capsized when struck by waves while on its way to Sungai Nyamuk, Indonesia on Tuesday.
Tawau police chief Assistant Commissioner Fadil Marsus said the man known as Juma, 23, was arrested at around 10.30am at the Tawau Airport arrival hall.
“After the capsized boat incident, the suspect was believed to have gone to Kuala Lumpur,” he said in a statement here, Sunday.
According to Fadil, the arrest would help police with investigations into the incident.
“The suspect was detained and arrested for his alleged involvement in the case being investigated under Section 304A of the Penal Code,” he said.
The police have been tracking down a man, believed to be the skipper of the boat which capsized in the waters off Batu Payung.
It was also reported that the skipper had allegedly fled after being rescued by two men fishing on the high seas, based on evidence of another victim, Mansur Umar, 25, who was also rescued by the fishermen.
Meanwhile, Fadil said a representative of the Indonesian Consulate informed them that the body of an 18-month-old baby girl believed to be one of the victims of the boat was found by a farmer in the waters of Sungai Manurung, Indonesia.
The victim’s identity was confirmed by her parents Budiman Muslimin, 26, and Hasmida Masaniaga, 24.
“Both victims confirmed, based on pictures shown, that the body belonged to their daughter, Nur Ainun,” said Fadil.
As of 2pm Sunday, 14 of the 15 victims have been found, of which only four survived.
In KOTA KINABALU, Sabah and Labuan Region Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency director, Maritime First Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som said the search and rescue (SAR) operation for victims still missing ended at 6pm Sunday.
He said this followed a statement by the boat skipper’s, known only as Juma, 24, to Tawau police this morning that the last victim, who had yet to be found, had reached already Sungai Nyamuk, Indonesia.
“The situation of the last victim, identified as Joko Rahaman, 35, has yet to be confirmed by the Malaysian or the Indonesian authorities.
On Tuesday, the boat, with 15 people on board, mostly Indonesians, capsized and in turbulent seas while heading to Sunyai Nyamuk, Indonesia.
Fourteen of the 15 victims have been accounted for. Ten died.
On the SAR operation for victims of the catamaran which sank in the waters of Pulau Mengalum, Mohd Zubil said there were no new leads in the search for five victims who are still missing, and that the operation would be continued.
In the tragedy on Jan 28, the catamaran with 28 tourists from China and three crew, sank in strong winds and large waves while heading to Pulau Mengalum.
To date, 26 victims had been found, including four who died.