Four Myanmar men held for smuggling illegal immigrants into Malaysia

ALOR SETAR — The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) detained four more Myanmar men suspected to be behind the smuggling of 202 illegal immigrants believed to be ethnic Rohingya into the country in the waters of Langkawi on April 5.

Kedah and Perlis MMEA deputy operations director Maritime Captain Zulinda Ramly said they were detained following information from two men who were arrested earlier on April 16 and 18 at Simpang Empat and Guar Chempedak near Yan.

The four suspects, aged between 24 and 53 years, were detained separately on Sunday in Simpang Empat and Kota Sarang Semut, here and in Pendang district.

“All of them have been remanded for 14 days and are being investigated under Section 26A of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 (Act 670) and the Immigration Act 1959/63,” he told a press conference here today.

MMEA is still on the hunt for two other suspects who have been identified as the main culprits in regulating the entry of foreigners, particularly Rohingya ethnic people into the country.

Zulinda said he did not rule out the involvement of locals in the syndicate. However, the matter is still under investigation.

Meanwhile, in another development, Zulinda said MMEA detained two local fishermen after finding 12 plastic bags containing 150 kilogrammes of ketum leaves worth RM9,000 on their boat at the Sungai Baru estuary, Perlis, yesterday evening.

The two men, aged 24 and 35, were arrested while police were on a ‘Ops COVID-19 Laut’ patrol in the area in conjunction with the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) after receiving complaints from the public.

He said the case was being investigated under Section 30 (3) of the Poisons Act 1952 and the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) for defying the Movement Control Order (MCO).

— BERNAMA

Pix — Bernama