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TAWAU, July 28 -- The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) detained five Indonesian illegal immigrants after they attempted to enter Tawau last night, and found three of them to be positive for COVID-19 upon screening.
MMEA Tawau Maritime Zone director Maritime Capt V. Siva Kumar said the five, ages ranging from 15 to 58, who were on a passenger boat from Indonesia, were arrested at 11.45 pm two nautical miles southwest of Tanjung Batu, Tawau.
"RTK Antigen screening found three of them to be positive for COVID-19 and the Ministry of Health (MOH) is taking further action. MOH will investigate and call all close contacts in this case for COVID-19 screening.
"Also arrested was the skipper of the boat, a 17-year -old local, who acted aggressively by speeding up the boat after realising the presence of the MMEA patrol boat until it went out of control and capsized, However, all on board were rescued," he said in a statement today.
He said all the five passengers in it failed to produce any identification documents and gave the excuse that the capsize incident caused all their documents to fall into the sea.
Siva Kumar added that the arrests was the result of intelligence gathering on the local passenger boat that was carrying out activities to bring in illegal immigrants through Tawau waters.
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