KOTA BARU, June 21 — A smuggler fired three shots while fleeing from Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) officers during an anti-smuggling operation near an illegal base in Kampung Simpangan, Tumpat, on Wednesday.

Kelantan JKDM director Wan Jamal Abdul Salam Wan Long said the incident occurred at 9.45am when five Customs officers patrolling the area discovered about 15 longboats loading petrol and diesel.

“As the officers approached one of the heavily laden boats, a Customs officer boarded it, and the smuggler jumped onto another boat and pointed a pistol at the officers,” he said.

The smugglers then fled towards a neighbouring country, firing shots into the air and at the Customs officers.

Wan Jamal said when the officers were turning back towards the base tugging along the seized boat, the smuggler fired another shot at them, and this led to the officers speeding up their boat, which caused the heavily laden boat to sink.

He said the officers managed to cut off the rope attaching the long-tail boat to the patrol boat and returned to the base safely.

“Such challenges are routine for JKDM in safeguarding national security and curbing leakages, and these threats will not deter our commitment to enforcing the law,” he added. — Bernama