Friday, May 20

MMEA arrests tugboat crew at Tanjung Po for allegedly moving sand illegally

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An MMEA photo shows the tugboat and barge involved.

KUCHING (May 13): The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has arrested the crew of a tugboat believed to been illegally transporting sand at Tanjung Po around 10pm last night.

MMEA Sarawak director First Admiral Zin Azman Md Yunus said the tugboat and barge were spotted by enforcement officers about five nautical miles from Tanjung Po.

“The two vessels were then stopped for checks, which saw none of the six crew members including their captain, able to produce any relevant documents for the sand that they were transporting,” he said in a statement today.

He said the tugboat is also believed to have been using an expired vessel licence and did not possess any port clearance documents.

The crew, aged between 22 and 67, consisted of two local males while the other four are believed to be Indian nationals.

Zin Azman added the foreign crew members managed to produce identification cards to MMEA personnel.

“However, the authenticity of the identity cards is questionable,” he said.

The vessels and crew were later brought to the MMEA headquarters in Muara Tebas for further action.

The case is being investigated under the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952, Custom Act 1967 and Immigration Act 1959/63.