Tawau MMEA Detains Smuggler With 1,700 Kgs Subsidised Cooking Oil

For illustration only. Cooking oil sold in bulk.
For illustration only. Cooking oil sold in bulk.

TAWAU – A 43-year-old Indonesian skipper was nabbed by a Maritime patrolling team off Sungai Melayu at 8pm last Friday for attempting to smuggle out 1,700kg of subsidised cooking oil.

Tawau Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency acting deputy director (Operations), Lieutenant Commander Ahmad Firdaus Shaari in a statement Thursday said the suspect who held an international Indonesian passport was carrying 100 boxes of the controlled item worth RM4,760 in his boat.

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He said MMEA also seized the boat and investigated the suspect under the Control of supplies Act 1961.

Yesterday, the MMEA detained 31 Indonesians aged between 19 and 46 when they tried to sneak out of Tawau without going through immigration.

Ahmad Firdaus said the suspects were intercepted at 7.45 am off Sungai Log Pond, Tanjung Batu in a boat owned by a local. The skipper of a boat which was owned by a local was also detained.

“Maritime intercepted the boat based on a public tip-off, about two nautical miles off the river and heading towards Kampung Sungai Haji Kuning, Pulau Sebatik,” he said.

He said the men possessed valid passports which did not show any travel clearance from the Immigration Department.

“They are believed to have attempted to return to their country by the quickest route even if illegally,” he told Bernama when contacted.

A protest staged by Nunukan-Tawau ferry operators in Tawau since Tuesday may be the reason why the group resorted to the illegal means of travel.

“They should have sought advice from their consulate in Tawau or local authorities,” said Ahmad Firdaus.