ALOR SETAR – The police seized five firearms and hundreds of bullets from a sailboat owned by a South African national at a jetty in Pulau Langkawi last Thursday.
State police chief Datuk Zamri Yahya said among other things seized from the boat were three telescopic sights and silencers as well as three ammunition magazines of various sizes to be used with the firearms.
“The sailboat was left at the Rebak Marina jetty since last August by its owner. Upon inspection with the Immigration Department we also found out that the South African national had already left Malaysia,” he told reporters at the Kedah Police Headquarters here today.
He said all the high powered firearms, ammunition and equipment were hidden in a bedroom at the rear of the ship.
When asked if the items seized had any links to militant activities, Zamri said police were still investigating the motive.
In two separate incidents in September last year, the Kedah police had seized 23 firearms and thousands of bullets from foreign ships docked in Langkawi.
According to Zamri, the police were investigating if the latest seizure had anything to do with the two previous cases which also involved South African nationals.
“We view this thing seriously because we found rifles in Langkawi that were undeclared by the related parties,” he said, adding that the findings of telescopic sights along with the equipment was also a cause for concern.
Foreign firearm owners who use them to escort their ships should apply for a permit from the police before the authorities decided if they could be allowed to carry and use them, he said.
But in this case, it was a clear offence as the owners did not have permits for the weapons, Zamri said.
The case was being investigated under the Arms Act 1960, he said.
According to Zamri, the Kedah and Bukit Aman police would contact the South African Embassy to trace the suspect who owned the sailing boat as well as to check on his background for any prior police records.
He said this was the first time the South African man, in his 40s, had entered Langkawi and the police were still investigating where the suspect had come from prior to visiting the island and his onward destination.
The Kedah Police chief said all foreign boat or ship owners had to report to the Marine Department before dealing with jetty owners to place their boats there.
They also need to declare the items on their boats or ships to Customs officials.
Owners should also retrieve their boats and ships three months after placing them at the jetty, he said. – BERNAMA