MMEA Intensifies Patrols During Ramadan, Syawal

KUANTAN, July 12 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will intensify patrols and enforcement through Ops Tumpas this festive season to curb maritime crimes in the nation's waters.

MMEA director-general Datuk Mohd Amdan Kurish said the special operation is to stamp out smuggling and robbery at sea.

"The operation launched on July 1 until Aug 15 involves all five maritime regions without affecting existing operations. In the 13 days of the fasting month, 880 checks and 22 arrests were made.

"However, last year the agency conducted 2,283 checks and 42 arrests during Ramadan and 2,280 checks and 54 arrests during the month of Syawal," he said.

He was speaking to reporters after attending a breaking of fast and contribution presentation ceremony for 30 orphans from Kuantan at the Sultan Ahmad Shah Maritime Academy, here last night. Also present was Eastern Region Enforcement Chief Datuk Nasir Adam.

Mohd Amdan said they also hoped to prevent casualties involving illegal immigrants during the festive season.

He advised illegal immigrants to return home using the proper method despite being fined (for staying in the country illegally) rather than putting themselves in danger by using illegal skippers who are out to make profit.

Commenting on MMEA's operations, Mohd Amdan said 423 arrests were made from 15,892 checks conducted by the MMEA for the first six months this year.

"The MMEA also managed to collect RM261 million through fines, and disposal and auctioning of vessels since 2006. Besides that, 30 fishing boats were also detained this year with RM2.1 million in fines.

"For smuggled diesel and petrol, 171 cases were arrested involving more than RM2.5 million from 2006 until June this year," he said.

Meanwhile, MMEA's search and rescue operations have saved 248 lives, he added.


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