MIRI, July 16 ― A manhunt has been launched after five Vietnamese fishermen were reported to have escaped from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) detention facility here early yesterday.
Miri police chief ACP Hakemal Hawari when contacted confirmed that a police report had been lodged over the incident.
“We have received a report regarding the incident, and the police will assist MMEA Miri to track down and detain all five Vietnamese detainees who were reported to have escaped,” he said.
He added the case is being investigated under Section 223 and Section 224 of the Penal Code.
It was said that the incident was discovered around 4.50am by an MMEA officer on duty during a routine inspection of the detention room where the foreigners were being held.
Preliminary investigations found that the detainees had escaped by cutting several iron bars.
Following the discovery, MMEA launched a search for the escapees but had yet to make a breakthrough.
The five escapees were among 13 foreign fishermen detained by MMEA Miri on June 28 for fishing without a licence or permit in the country’s waters. ― Borneo Post