Arrest of senior MMEA officer part of ongoing Ops Armada, more arrests to come: MMEA DG

HAFIDZUL HILMI MOHD NOOR

KUALA LUMPUR: The arrest of a Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) senior officer with the rank Lieutenant Commander yesterday was a continuation of Ops Armada. Its director-general Admiral Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abu Bakar said more arrests will be made in due time. “However, I cannot disclose the details now as it is still being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). “The arrest of the senior officer is part of the Ops Armada, an operation jointly conducted with the MACC,” he said when contacted today. Ops Armada was launched with MMEA early last year in line with the National Blue Ocean Strategy to curb the encroachment of foreign fishermen in Malaysian waters especially in the east coast, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak. Zulkifli said five MMEA officers were arrested in Sabah and Sarawak in August last year. “The arrest is not only focused on MMEA officers and personnel but also Malaysians, who are seen as having links with syndicates. “I urged all my men to not involve in corruption cases,” he warned. It was reported that the 37-year-old officer has been remanded for seven days over alleged corruption and money laundering activities. The suspect was arrested in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan at 11.20am Monday. According to a MACC source, the suspect, who is a commanding officer of a Malaysian maritime vessel, was alleged to have received between RM4,000 and RM9,000 from owners of foreign fishing vessels in 2016 and 2017 for the release of their ships that were detained for encroaching into Malaysian waters. The money was allegedly deposited into a bank account of another individual. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd