Published on: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Kota Kinabalu: Attempts to evade arrest by setting fire to contraband cigarettes stashed in their boat backfired for two men when the boat caught fire and the authorities had to rescue them instead from the waters of Kg. Bawang Jamal in Kudat on Jan 11.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Chief Enforcement Officer, Maritime Captain Amir Azwa Mohd Alias said a team was sent to investigate following information on a suspicious looking boat in the area at 6pm.
He said the men sped off the moment their realised the presence of the authorities, before deciding to set fire to the smuggled cigarettes in their bid to get rid of evidence.
"Their action however backfired when they had to jump into the water after their boat caught fire," he said.
He said a total of six cartons of cigarettes, four of them burnt, were confiscated from the men.
The suspects, aged 21 and 28 have been remanded to assist investigations under Section 135 (1)(e) of the Custom Act and Section 6(1) (c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63.
On another note, Amir said smuggling activities from a neighboring country has become rampant through the waters off Balambangan Island, Kudat and Banggi Island.
He said MMEA would beef up surveillance and enforcement in these areas.
He urged those with information on such activities to contact them at 088-387845.