KUCHING (Aug 14): The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) detained a cargo ship approximately 2.4 nautical miles southeast of Tanjung Po during an inspection on Saturday.
Sarawak Maritime Director Maritime First Admiral Zin Azman Md Yunus said the ship was detained on suspicion of committing various offences under the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952.
He said MMEA’s patrol assets were carrying out patrol operations when they detected the cargo ship, which was moving in a suspicious condition at approximately 0.8 nautical miles from Malaysia’s maritime assets.
The inspection and search found that the cargo ship was operated by 16 crew members including the captain, six Malaysians, five Indian nationals, two Myanmar nationals, and three Indonesians aged between 19 and 67.
He said they had identification documents when checked.
“In addition to the offence of failing to present the original Domestic Shipping License (DSL) or a copy recognised as valid by the Malaysian Maritime Department, the vessel involved also failed to display the change of captain document in the Certificate of Malaysia Registry when inspected by the MMEA,” Zin Azman said in a statement today.
He said the case is being investigated under the Customs Act 1967 (Act 235) because the vessel is also suspected of committing an offence under Section 58 of the Customs Act 1967, which is submitting an inaccurate cargo manifest.
In addition, he said, the ship and crew were escorted to the Tun Abang Salahuddin Maritime Complex Jetty (Komtas), Muara Tebas for further investigation.
The maritime community can report any suspicious activity, maritime crime, or emergency at sea directly to the Sarawak State Maritime Operations Centre on 082-432544 or 082-432016, 24 hours a day.