LABUAN (Bernama) – The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) chapter here has identified three smuggling ‘hot spots’ within the waters off Sabah and Sarawak.
Its operations officer, Maritime Lieutenant Nik Mohd Izwan Farid Md Daud said the high demand for contraband alcoholic drinks and an assortment of cigarettes from the duty-free island were noted at Sipitang in Sabah, and Lawas and Miri in Sarawak.
He said a series of operations which revealed the ‘hot spots’ with high demand for the contraband had prompted the MMEA to intensify its operations and surveillance at those areas.
Nik Mohd Izwan said Labuan MMEA has initiated collaboration with its counterparts in Kota Kinabalu and Miri to undertake effective monitoring and enforcement, via information exchange and operation. He said the recent winning of a court case against a vessel operator for smuggling activities, showed the need for intensified operations and strategies in tackling the issue.