TAWAU: Strategic cooperation between the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the Joint Task Force 2 (ATB 2) succeeded in seizing RM35,000 worth of contraband cigarettes at 3.3 nautical miles from Sungai Tawau, last night.
Tawau Maritime Zone director, Maritime Commander Mohd Yusri Hussin said a patrol team around the area detected a suspicious looking speedboat at 11.40 pm.
“Upon realising the presence of the MMEA patrol boat the speedboat tried to flee, but was pursued by the MMEA boat for about five minutes before being run aground.
“Two men believed to be the skipper and a crew member jumped into the sea and escaped in the shallow waters near Kampung Titingan,” he told a press conference here, today.
Upon inspecting the boat boxes of cigarettes were found, namely 900 cartons of Premium Gold white cigarettes, Surya Gudang Garam (80 cartons) and LA Menthol Light (80 cartons).
According to Yusri, all the confiscated items including the boat, boat engine and the cigarettes were taken to the Tawau MMEA Jetty for further investigation under the Customs Act 1967
He added that all the cigarettes were believed to be from a neighbouring country to be sold here.