KOTA TINGGI: A fibreglass boat with 40 bird cages containing numerous species of protected birds was detained five nautical miles south east of Tanjung Setapa, near the Pengerang waters, near here, Tuesday night.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Tanjung Sedili Maritime Zone director Maritime Captain Mohd Zulfadli Nayan said MMEA had detained the boat which did not have a registration number and its two crew at 10.35pm.

‘’The boat was carrying about 40 cages with numerous species of birds including Murai batu (white-rumped shama) which is a protected species under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

‘’We believe they were trying to smuggle the birds to Indonesia. The birds and boat seized are worth about RM45,000,’’ he said in a statement here today.

He said MMEA was also assisted by the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) of Johor for purpose of investigation under Section 60(1) Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

In a separate case, Mohd Zulfadli said a Hong Kong-registered ship ‘Beidou Star’ transporting liquid natural gas (LNG) was detained by a MMEA patrol ship in the waters of Permatang Timur, Johor at 5pm yesterday.

He said the ship would be investigated under Section 491B (1) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952, namely, anchoring without permission and if found guilty could be fined not exceeding RM100,000 or two-year jail or both.

‘’The detention is also to prevent robbery at sea other than dropping anchor without permission especially in the waters of Permatang Timur, Tompok Utara and Beting Ramunia,’’ he said.

He said MMEA would continue to boost enforcement operations to check and eradicate criminal activities in the East Johor waters other than urging ship owners to seek permission from the Marine Department Malaysia before dropping anchor. — Bernama