GEORGE TOWN, July 11 (Bernama) -- Region 1 Marine Police foiled an attempt to smuggle various agricultural-based items and spices worth RM270,000 following the seizure of Indonesian merchant vessel at the Prai Jetty near here yesterday.
Its commander, ACP Rosman Ismail said four crew members aged between 31 and 55 years were detained in the operation dubbed Ops Landai, at about 5.00 pm after the boat was seen moving in a suspicious manner.
"A check revealed several types of spices, sauces and plant fertilisers weighing about 13.85 tonnes worth RM270,000, were on the boat and about to be smuggled,” he told a press conference here.
Police believe the items which were without valid documents were headed for Indonesia without going through inspection, as the goods were in great demand there.
"Further checks on the merchant boat worth of about RM150,000 found the goods had been taken out without valid permit from the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis) Department," he said.
Meanwhile, state Maqis director, Zarina Ramli said the vessel had breached Section 11 (2) of the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Act 2011 (Act 728).
She said the offence provides a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or imprisonment for a term not more than six years or both, on conviction.