Tugboat, barge held for having no pass

The seized tugboat and barge.

KUCHING: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) intercepted a tugboat and barge some 1.2 nautical miles southwest of Tanjung Jerijih on Wednesday.

MMEA Tanjung Manis Zone director Commander Mohd Ariz Md Kassim said the tugboat and barge, loaded with 3,000 metric tonnes of sand, were detained for sailing without port clearance documents.

He said the boat was on its way from Kuching to Sibu and was detained during an Ops Permai patrol in Belawai waters at 3.45pm.

“The crew failed to produce any document indicating that they had port clearance for the journey.

“The six crew members detained consisted of two local men and four Indian men, aged between 22 and 55, and all had valid identification documents,” he said.

The tugboat, barge and crew members were later tajen to the HSL jetty in Tanjung Manis for further action.

The case is being investigated under Section 37 (1) of the Customs Act 1967 for failure to submit port clearance documents.

“We also call upon the public, especially the maritime community, to channel information to MMEA on any illegal activities occurring in Sarawak waters.

“They can do this by calling MMEA Sarawak operations centre at 082-432544, MERS (Malaysian Emergency Response Service) at 999, or MMEA Tanjung Manis Maritime Zone at 084-613292,” Mohd Ariz added.