KUCHING – An attempt to smuggle timber logs was foiled by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) from the Kuching Maritime District on Saturday at about 3.30pm near Tanjung Muara Tebas, near here.
The logs, estimated to be worth RM164,309, were on board a vessel which was on its way here from Tanjung Manis in the Sarikei Division.
According to the Kuching Maritime District Director of Operations, Commander Shahref Steve Mcqueen Abdullah, upon intercepting the vessel, the MMEA officers also found six crew members but the skipper was missing.
“Besides carrying logs suspected to be from illegal source, we decided to take control of the vessel for an offence under the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 Regulation 7(1)(c) Shipping Regulation 1999 for sailing without a skipper.
“A skipper must be on board all the time so as not to endanger other maritime users,” he said.
Shahref said the crew members were detained to assist in investigation on the case while the vessel was taken to the Tun Abang Salahuddin Maritime Complex Jetty here.
He said the logs were handed over to the state Forestry Department for further action.
Meanwhile, he added the state MMEA would give its fullest co-operation to the state government in its all out fight against illegal logging. – Bernama