Malaysia: Foreign tugboat and barge carrying sand to Singapore detained

The Star 28 May 16;

KOTA TINGGI: Maritime authorities detained a tugboat and a barge filled with sand in Pengerang waters here.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Tanjung Sedili enforcement chief Captain Amran Daud said the tugboat and its barge were spotted by its officials at about 3.4 nautical miles south of Teluk Ramunia.

He said a team on routine sea patrol spotted them at around 10.15am and upon checking discovered that the foreign registered tugboat with a barge was carrying about 145 metric tonnes of sand and was coming from Kuantan to Singapore.

Checks on the Batam-registered tugboat named TB Buana Superior and its barge Buana Ocean 05 also found a total of eight Indonesian crewmen including its captain aged between 21 and 38 years.

The crewmen have been taken to the MMEA Tanjung Sedili headquarters for further investigations, he said.

Capt Amran added that the case would be investigated under Section 135(1)(e) of the Customs Act 1967 for smuggling taxable goods which carries a fine up to 10 times the value of the goods upon conviction.

He said the case would also be investigated for other offences including under the Lands and Mines Act.

This is our first case recorded for this year after two of such cases recorded in November last year.

The agency will continue to step up efforts to ensure that vessels and ships abide by the Malaysian maritime laws while in our waters, he said, adding that he hoped the public could continue to be their eyes and ears so that they could uncover more of such activities.

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