LAHAD DATU, Sept 23 — The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) foiled an attempt by 29 illegal immigrants believed to be Filipinos from sneaking into the country at a mangrove swamp in Tanjung Pulau Nunuyan, Sandakan, in a two-day operation since Wednesday.
Esscom commander DCP Datuk Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said the illegal immigrants, aged between four and 54, were held in the operation conducted jointly with other security agencies.
“They will be charged under Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act for not possessing identification documents,” he said in statement here today.
In another operation, in Semporna, on Tuesday, Semporna marine police caught a 37-year-old Myanmar national suspected of smuggling out 17 jerry cans of petrol in the waters of Omadal island in the district, he said.
In the operation at 3.30pm, he said, marine police personnel inspected a boat and found 17 jerry cans containing 510 litres of petrol hidden aboard.
“The man was held for not having permits to carry controlled and subsidised goods issued by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry,” he said.
Wan Abdul Bari said the boat with two units of 40HP Yamaha outboard engines valued at about RM29,267 which were used for smuggling activities was also seized.
He said the success was due to continuous efforts by Esscom with the cooperation of all security forces comprising the police, Malaysian Armed Forces and the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency to curb and eradicate smuggling activities and entry of illegal immigrants into the country.
In this regard, he said, Esscom was tightening security control at all identified routes popular with petrol and diesel smugglers.
“The surveillance will be intensified to break cross-border criminal networks in southern Philippines which have been identified as the main buyers of smuggled petrol from Malaysia that are used by boats for their kidnappings and robberies in the waters of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia,” he said.
He advised the people to report smuggling or illegal immigrant activities to Esscom at 089-863181 or contact the nearest police station. — Bernama