District Maritime Enforcement Chief Captain Anor Jaafar said a total of 95 passengers were also detained for further action.
"A total of 38 people failed to produce legal documents, while 55 had legal passports but no approval from the Immigration Department for them to leave Malaysia," he said, adding that two people had MyKads but no legal documents to leave the country.
He said all the passengers including the ferry were brought to the Tawau MMEA jetty for investigations under the Immigration Act 1959 / 63.
On another note, Anor reminded ferry operators to abide by the existing rules and regulations.
He said overloading is very risky as it would threaten the safety of their passengers," he said, adding that MMEA views this matter seriously as it involves lives.
"We do not want boats capsizing similar to what happened in Sepang and Carey Island waters recently," he said.
He said MMEA will continue to monitor and patrol the area to ensure the safety of the country's waters, adding that those with any information can contact MERS 999 or their hotline at 089-752115.