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Rat trails of the cross-border criminals blocked
Published on: Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Sandakan: There have been no kidnappings or intrusions reported in the nation's waters as well as the Sulu Sea and Sulawesi Sea since 2017.

Rear Admiral Datuk Ganesh Navaratnam said the rat trails believed used by cross-border criminals in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) have been identified and closed as a result of intelligence and information sharing between the Navy, Indonesian National Navy (TNI-AL) and the Philippine Marine Corps through the 3rd Trilateral Maritime Patrol (TMP) Port Visit Programme.

Ganesh said the programme has proven effective not only in preventing cross-border crime, especially kidnapping at sea and threats by militant activities but also in enhancing understanding between the three countries.

He said this to reporters after welcoming the arrival of the Indonesian National Navy (TNI-AL) KRI Kerapang and BRP Felix Apolinario Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) to the Sandakan TLDM Sandakan Region 2 (Mawilla 2) at Talat Port Visit in Third TMP Coastal Road, Sandakan on Tuesday.

Also present were Lt Col John B.C. Hendraswanto of TNI-AL and Ronel T. Raciles PN Commander of PMC for the programme that will be carried out from Sept 4 (Tuesday) until 6 (Thursday).

"The ongoing Malaysian Navy coordination with Indonesia and the Philippines has also shown the close ties between the three Asean countries," he said. The Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement (TCA) Initiative is to provide space and opportunities for all three countries to identify activities that can further empower existing capacities and capacities in ensuring peace and prosperity is maintained.

Navy vessels involved in the joint venture programme are KD Todak led by Lt Kdr Ahmad Zaki Ismail TLDM and KD Sri Perlis commanded by Lt Kdr Kamarol Azra Hamzah TLDM.

Aside from that, cultural tours and activities are held to introduce cultural and tourist attractions around Sandakan. The first Port Visit was held in Tawi-Tawi, Philippines, on Nov. 13-15, 2017, while the second was held earlier this year on April 4 in Tarakan, Indonesia.

The implementation of this programme in Sandakan also involves coordination by the Maritime Command Centres (MCC) of the three countries that serve as the centre for coordination of operations and intelligence sharing.

MCC was established to enable monitoring, communication and coordination of TMP operations between the three countries. Malaysia Maritime Command Centre (MMCC) currently headed by its Director, Capt Pulendran Paramasivam of the Navy in Tawau, while for Indonesia and the Philippines are respectively in Tarakan and Bongao.

Meanwhile, Lt Col of John B.C. Hendraswanto from Indonesian Navy hopes the programme will strengthen cooperation between the three countries in particular in contributing to the security of their respective countries.

Cdr Ronel T. Raciles PN from PMC also expressed appreciation for such cooperation with Malaysia and Indonesia.

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