JOHOR BAHRU, April 22 — A foreigner was killed while another went missing when the tugboat they were in collided with a marine police patrol boat in the waters of Pantai Teluk Ramunia, Sungai Rengit, near Kota Tinggi on Tuesday night.
Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said in the 9 pm incident there were eight Indonesian nationals, in their 30s and 40s, on board the tug boat believed to be trying to get out of Malaysia via non-gazetted routes.
According to him, the patrol boat chased the tug boat for about 20 minutes before it hit the patrol boat causing all of them to be thrown overboard into the sea.
“As a result of the collision, one of them died and one went missing while six others were rescued, including the skipper and his two assistants,” he told reporters here today.
“Based on preliminary investigations, the skipper and his two assistants who hailed from Batam and Tanjung Pinang, Indonesia were believed to be handling the foreigners illegally.
“Police have detained all three of them, aged 30 to 43 years, for 28 days under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) while the remaining three were detained for 14 days under the Immigration Act 1959/63,” he said.
He said the victim’s body had been sent to Kota Tinggi Hospital while the search and rescue operation for the missing man continued.
As a result, security controls at the border, waters and inland areas of the state have now been enhanced with the launch of ‘Op-Pintas Bersepadu Selatan’ today.
Ayob Khan said operations involving the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) and the Immigration Department were being conducted to curb various cross-border criminal activities including smuggling of migrants, goods, drugs and firearms.
This is important to ensure that the state’s waters, land and border are protected and to prevent intrusion as well as criminal activities especially involving the influx of foreigners as there is a high likelihood that they would be carrying the Covid-19 virus, he said.
Ayob Khan said Op Pintas would continue even after the end of the MCO to curb cross-border criminal activities in Johor.
Since March 24, Johor police have detained 101 migrants and 33 skippers in eight series of raids across the state.
Ayob Khan also received assistance in the form of basic personal protection items and daily necessities from the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Malaysia (Johor Bahru), ‘Pengerak Komuniti Negara Negeri Johor’ and from ’Pertubuhan Kebajikan Jiwa Prihatin’ in appreciation of the role of the security forces in helping battle Covid-19. — Bernama