LABUAN: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Labuan will strengthen its level of patrolling of the island’s waters during the festive season to curb the maritime criminal-related activities.

Labuan Zone MMEA director, Commander Nor Bakari Abu Bakar said the main focus of the operations would be to check the possible intrusion of illegal immigrants, smuggling activities and illegal fishing.

“As all our personnel are on duty, the enforcement and patrols will be stepped up to curb criminal activities and maritime offences at sea.

““We are aware that during festivals the smuggling activities will increase; the smugglers think that many of our personnel would be on leave, but they are wrong as we will beef up our operation with more personnel and our assets will be deployed for the purpose of the operations,” he said today.

He urged all those travelling by sea to visit family and friends during this festive season at the various islands to ensure their safety by wearing life vests and having proper safety equipment on board.

The public can report any suspicious activity to Labuan MMEA at 087-427999.

Late afternoon on Wednesday, Nor Bakari led a routine patrol around Labuan waters saw a bunkering vessel was inspected on its anchoring permit and license validity among others.

He later hosted a breaking of fast for MMEA Labuab personnel attended by Labuan National Security Council.