MMEA seizes tugboat and barge, detains crew for pass infringement

The tugboat and barge which were detained in Belawai.

SIBU, Aug 20: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) detained a tugboat carrying a barge loaded with pebbles in Tanjung Manis yesterday.

Tanjung Manis Maritime Zone Director, Commander Mohd Ariz Md Kassim revealed today that the boat was detained during an operation codenamed ‘Op Permai’ in Belawai waters at about 2.30pm, at a distance of about 3.1 nautical miles southwest of Tanjung Jerijih.

“The results of the inspection found that they failed to furnish the Port Clearance Pass document.”

Two local men and four Indian nationals who were the crew of the barge and tugboat aged between 20 to 65 were also arrested.

The tugboat and barge were escorted to HSL Jetty, Tanjung Manis and handed over to the the investigating officer at the Tanjung Manis Maritime Zone for further action.

The case, Mohd Ariz revealed, is being investigated under the Customs Act 1967 for failing to submit the Port Clearance document during the voyage.

He added, his agency will continue to intensify monitoring efforts and patrols to ensure that any activities that goes against the law at sea can be curbed and eradicated accordingly.

Cooperation from the community, especially the maritime community in providing information is very welcome to assist the Malaysian Maritime in combating crime at sea.

Complaints and feedback as well as information about emergencies at sea maybe be relayed to the Tanjung Manis Maritime Zone Operations Centre at 084-613292 or the Sarawak Maritime Operations Centre at 082-432544. — DayakDaily