MMEA seizes boat off Umbai, foils attempt to smuggle cartons of cigarettes

ARNAZ M. KHAIRUL

MALACCA: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) early this morning foiled an attempt to smuggle a boat load of illegal cigarettes after seizing a fiberglass boat in Umbai near here.

The boat, laden with a cargo of 50 cartons of cigarettes, was said to be headed for a private jetty in Umbai from Bengkalis, Indonesia and was sighted by an MMEA enforcement team patrolling the Pulau Undan area at about 2.30am.

MMEA Kuala Linggi District director Ahmad Faridi Ferdaus said the enforcement team had zoomed in on the boat which was suspiciously heading towards the private jetty.

As the MMEA team approached the jetty, he said, they spotted the smugglers unloading the illegal cargo and a raid ensued, which the smugglers managed to detect and flee the area.

"As soon as the team arrived at the jetty, it was discovered that the smugglers had fled. the boat, with hundreds of packets of cigarettes and with its 200hp outboard engine were seized," said Ahmad Faridi.

He said the prevalence of smuggling in the area meant MMEA should now increase patrolling of the area and called for the public to assist enforcement in their efforts to weed out smuggling by contacting the MMEA Malacca hotline at 06-387 6804.