LABUAN: Labuan marine police thwarted smuggling activities with a total seizure worth more than RM17 million last year, compared to RM1.5 million in 2018.
Sabah marine police (Region 4) commander, ACP Mohamad Pajeri Ali said Labuan marine police also foiled several attempts of illegal fishing by foreign fishermen and intrusion by illegal immigrants.
“Labuan marine police had shown better performance, judging by the number of maritime cases solved,” he said at the inaugural presentation of certificates of appreciation from Labuan marine police at its office, here, to local journalists, today.
He said the detention of a cargo ship and an offshore supporting vessel with 38,000 litres of diesel, all worth about RM15.2 million, was another success of the Labuan marine police team.
Pajeri said Labuan marine police recorded 95 maritime crime cases in 2018 and the figure increased to 119 last year.
“I’m very proud of the overall achievement ... and the three Labuan marine police personnel who received a certificate of appreciation each from the Inspector-General of Police for their outstanding performance is a testament of its success,” he said.
Pajeri said Labuan marine police would soon have additional assets and staff to effectively address maritime-related crimes, including in the restricted areas of oil platforms.
Labuan marine police currently have 31 staff compared to more than 1,000 in Sabah.
He said Sabah marine police were focusing on three key issues this year – kidnapping for ransom, smuggling around Labuan and Sabah waters, and fish bombing.
“As maritime security is heightened in Sabah, we have been directed to focus on these issues, especially as kidnapping for ransom and fish bombing are only happening in Sabah waters,” he said.
Pajeri said collaboration with the Labuan Fisheries Department would be enhanced to combat trespassing by illegal fishing trawlers and foreign fishermen.
He also disclosed that Sabah and Labuan marine police would be working together with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency in conducting operations beginning this year, adding that they would also be working together with the Royal Brunei Marine Police in tackling cross-border crimes.
“The involvement of MACC officers in our operations is to avoid public negative perception of our day-to-day operations,” he said. - Bernama