KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has detained six illegal immigrants and seized two boats off the coast of Pulau Mengalum here, on suspicion of fish bombing.
MMEA Kota Kinabalu director First Admiral Adam Aziz said the two boats were detected between 11.20pm and 11.50pm Thursday (April 5) by the KM Berani maritime patrol vessel.
“MMEA officers noticed the suspicious-looking vessels while conducting an operation around the island.
“When approached, the vessels sped off. Several seamen were seen disposing objects, believed to be used as fish bombs, into the ocean,” he added.
Adam said the team managed to stop the vessels from escaping, adding that MMEA found white powder, believed to be cyanide, on the boats.
Two skippers and four seamen, aged between 32 and 50, were arrested in the operation codenamed Op Khas/Op Sejahtera.
All six suspects failed to produce valid identification documents. They have been detained to allow investigations under the Immigration Act 1959/63 and Fisheries Act 1985.
The detainees and vessels were brought to the Pulau Mengalum jetty for further investigations.