KUALA PERLIS, Aug 23 — The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) foiled an attempt to smuggle 360 kg of ketum leaves in Kuala Perlis waters enroute to a neighbouring country.
Kuala Perlis MMEA director, Maritime Commander Mohd Shafie Paing said an MMEA patrol boat was patrolling the area under Ops Benteng when it spotted a boat heading towards the border of a neighbouring country from Kuala Perlis estuary at about 3.15pm yesterday.
“Upon realising our presence, the vessel tried to flee but we successfully intercepted it. A skipper and a crew jumped into the sea and fled to nearby land,” he said in a statement last night.
Mohd Shafie said upon inspection, MMEA seized 36 packages weighing 360 kg of ketum leaves in the vessel as well as the fiberglass boat with an outboard engine, worth a total of RM28,700.
“The seized items and boat were taken to Kuala Perlis Maritime Zone for further action and the case is being investigated under Section 30 (3) of the Poisons Act 1952 for abuse of ketum leaves.
“MMEA will continue to patrol and monitor the country’s borders and waters from time to time to prevent smuggling, encroachment, and criminal activities in the northern waters of peninsular Malaysia,” he added.
Members of the public with information on such activities at sea can report via MERS 999 or to Kuala Perlis Maritime Operations Centre at 04-9851072 or 04-9851162. — Bernama