Marine Police Commander Datuk Isa Munir said a 19-year-old Indonesian student was detained in the 10.15am raid code-named "Ops Paradise" by a team patrolling the area.
According to him, the team approached the vessel that was docked in the area and found the man from Tarakan on board. "A red plastic bag containing a red coloured cake box was kept beside the man," he said.
He said they found five red coloured small packets inside the box and one yellow coloured box which was repackaged, adding that all the boxes contained white substance which they suspect to be syabu.
Isa said the arrest was the marine police's first and the biggest seizure involving syabu this year, adding that the case has been handed over to the Tawau Narcotics Crime Investigations Department. He said the case will be investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
"We are still investigating to find out whether the drugs are meant for the local market or otherwise," he said.
Also present was the Region 4 Marine Police Commander ACP Mohammad Madun, among others.
On another development, he said, they are enhancing operations up to five nautical miles from the coastline compared to previously where patrols were only done along the coastal area.
He said they are always working together with various units in the police force such as the Crime Investigations Department and Narcotics.
In the East Coast such as Tambisan, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Tawau, their duties are more towards assisting in the Eastern Sabah Security Command's security operation, while in the West Coast, their tasks include inspection and monitoring.
He said the marine police nationwide have so far this year recorded a total of 83 cases worth RM2.2 million involving 145 suspects, while last year recorded a total of 1,500 cases.
On another development, he said a total of 5,000 litres of diesel and petrol worth about RM121,120 were confiscated by the Tawau and Semporna marine police in two separate raids on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
In Tawau, a total of 3,800 litres of diesel were confiscated at 7.30am from a barter trade vessel from Indonesia which was docked off Laut Sabindo.
"A 35-year-old Indonesian skipper was detained for failure to produce any valid documents.
The diesel was believed to have been bought from kiosks around Tawau before being smuggled to Sulawesi, Indonesia," he said.
In Semporna, a total of 1,200 litres of petrol kept in 40 jerry cans were seized at 1pm on Thursday.
The team conducting "Op Papa Tengo" chanced upon several men transferring the drums at the Kg Larapan jetty. However, the men left the drums and fled upon realising their presence.
The men also abandoned a speedboat with a 15 horse-powered boat engine.