LUMUT, Nov 29 -- Three Indonesian fishermen, who were saved by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) were handed over to their Embassy’s representative Muhammad Feb Khaira here today.
The three anglers were identified as Ahmad Tohir Sharifuddin, 31; Saiful Muamat Jen, 24, and Safarman Damrah, 29, all from Tanjung Balai, Asahan, North Sumatra.
Perak MMEA director Captain Shahrizan Raman said a boat was detected moving in a suspicious manner by the Lumut-based Maritime Monitoring System (SWASLA), 8 nautical miles south of Pulau Jarak in the 9.30 pm incident on Nov 21.
“Upon seeing MMEA craft, the boat sped off with the MMEA team in pursuit. In the high speed chase, KM Gagah and the boat grazed each other.
“It was then, MMEA personnel saw the fishermen throwing objects into the sea believed to be smuggled goods and the three men on board tried to escape by jumping into the water,” he said in a press conference here today.
All of them were arrested and given medical treatment, he said, adding investigations found that there was no criminal element as there was no evidence or discovery of sufficient evidence which could convict them.
“However, the agency suspects that besides catching fish, they are involved in smuggling activities based on size of the boat which is larger than those used by fishermen,” he said.
He also hoped that Indonesian authorities would conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.