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32 ARRESTED IN TAWAU WATERS LAST YEAR - MMEA


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3 Feb 2021


TAWAU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) recorded 32 arrests for various offences from 4,910 boat and ship inspections conducted in Tawau waters here, last year.


Tawau Maritime Zone Director, Captain V Siva Kumar said, out of the total arrests, there were 13 cases involving offences in violation of the Sabah Ports and Wharf Department Enactment 2002 (JPDS).


"Abuse of boat licenses is the most common offence, including boats licensed for fishing or carrying passengers but used to transport cargo or goods to nearby islands, and some even tried to smuggle out certain goods or cargo to the neighbouring countries," he said in a statement here, today.


He said, among other offences include carrying goods in excess of cargo which poses high-risk accidents besides threatening the safety of the maritime community.


Meanwhile. Siva Kumar said four local boats were detained last Monday at 12.40pm for violating the legal conditions of the license.


"The inspection found that the passenger boats were each handled by four men, including an Indonesian, who used the boats for cargo activities," he said.


He added that all the boats were detained while on their way to Sebatik Island.


Siva also stated that the MMEA will intensify patrol and enforcement duties in Tawau waters and residents with relevant information or emergency complaints can contact the Tawau Maritime Operations Centre at 089-752115 or the 24-hours MERS 999 hotline.