MIRI: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Miri seized 13,000 sacks of smuggled rice worth RM3 million after they intercepted an undocumented Mongolian-registered cargo ship about 2.6 nautical miles northwest of Tanjung Baram.
MMEA Miri head Captain Md Fauzi Othman said his men were on tracking maritime patrol when they spotted and intercepted the cargo ship around 9am on Saturday.
“Our personnel immediately boarded the ship and conducted an inspection that led to the discovery of 26 cargo containers weighing at 650 tonnes filled with 13,000 sacks of smuggled rice.
“We suspected that the smuggled rice was for distribution in the local markets,” he said.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the ship’s last stop before being detained was Vietnam.
The ship was navigated by two local men, with eight Indonesian crew members aged between 21 to 66 years.
Md Fauzi said the cargo ship was escorted to MMEA Miri zone vessel detention centre (PTV) jetty for further investigation.
The case is being investigated under the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952, the Immigration Act 1958/63, the Customs Act 1967 and The Trademark Act 2019.