BINTULU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) here detained a tugboat and barge suspected of carrying out unauthorised cargo transfer activities between vessels last Sunday.
MMEA Bintulu Zone director, Captain Mohd Khairol Anuar Saad said the detention took place some 3.7 nautical miles off Tanjung Batu around 10.30 am.
During a routine patrol, a tugboat and barge were spotted transferring logs onto another vessel.
“Inspections found that the vessels were manned by six crew including their skippers – three on the tugboat and three on the barge. The crew consisted of three foreigners and two locals aged between 22 and 54.
“Aside from that, the skippers managed to produce documents related to a load of logs but both vessels were detained for carrying out cargo transfer activities between vessels without permission from the Customs Department,” he said.
He stated that the case was being investigated under the Customs Act 1967 which carried a fine and a jail sentence if convicted.
Khairol reminded the maritime community to always comply with all regulations and laws before conducting any activity at sea.
They are also encouraged to channel information and complaints about suspicious activity or emergencies at sea to the Bintulu Maritime Zone Maritime Operations Centre at 086-314254 and Sarawak Maritime Operations Centre at 082-432544.
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