MMEA enhances cooperation with foreign agencies to curb human trafficking

KUALA PERLIS: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will enhance cooperation with foreign agencies to counter the notion of Malaysia being a transit for human trafficking.

Its deputy director-general Rear Admiral Datuk Mohd Taha Ibrahim said among efforts taken were to conduct joint operations with the Australian Border Force (ABF) through "Ops Redback" which started in 2012.

The MMEA also frequently exchanged information with regional neighbours, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam on the matter, he told reporters after the closing ceremony of Ops Redback 8 at the Kuala Perlis Maritime Base, here today.

Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Dr Angela Macdonald and ABF Director for the Southeast Asian Region, Immigration and Border Protection Department, Commander Chris Waters were also present.

Ops Redback 8 was the first operation in the northern region from July 17-23, and involved two ships and four boats with 53 MMEA personnel, two ABF officers and 130 local fishermen.

Mohd Taha said Ops Redback focused on combating maritime security threats faced by Malaysia and Australia, namely smuggling of migrants and human trafficking.

He added that the ABF would be sending two ships to join Ops Redback 9 scheduled in October, in the Straits of Malacca.

Commenting on arrests made under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007, he said since 2010 the MMEA had nabbed 66 individuals, and two cases had been brought to court. — Bernama