LABUAN: The Labuan Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) disposed contraband cigarettes and liquor worth about RM700,000
The 310 boxes of cigarettes and 135 boxes of liquor were among goods seized along with a cargo vessel ‘New Prime Line’ with its total value estimated at RM2.8 million.
MMEA Labuan enforcement chief Capt (Maritime) Che Adnan Md Isa said the seizure was the biggest haul by MMEA Labuan, last year.
“We disposed the cigarettes and liquor after getting clearance of forfeiture from the Magistrate’s Court on Dec 18 last year,” he said.
Che Adnan said the cargo vessel which did not have Customs Declaration documents was detained in May last year after being intercepted by the Labuan MMEA, off Rusukan Besar Island, during Ops Sejahtera.
“Seven crew, five of them Myanmar nationals, were on board and seen unloading the contraband goods onto a speed boat,” he said adding that the
vessel would be sunk as an artificial reef.
Che Adnan said the MMEA would continue its enforcement operations and monitor the waters from any elements of smuggling or maritime criminal activities.
He said one of the cigarette brands which was disposed, was a regularly smuggled item, due to the huge demand in neighboring states of Sabah andSarawak.
Che Adnan said the MMEA had detected several smuggling trails between Labuan and Sarawak waters, often used to smuggle contraband cigarette and liquor.
“We want the public and local fishermen to continue to be the ‘eye and ear’ for any transborder crime activities, especially smuggling. They may report directly to the Malaysia Emergency Response Service (MERS) of MMEA,” he said.-BERNAMA