BATU PAHAT, Sept 14 — The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) foiled an attempt by drug syndicate members to smuggle out of the country crystal methamphetamine (syabu) worth RM1.95 million in the waters off Muar, near here, early this morning.
Johor MMEA director, First Maritime Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria, said operatives from the agency’s Batu Pahat Maritime Zone seized the illicit narcotics weighing 39kg that was wrapped in Chinese tea packets in the 1.30am incident.
“The raids and seizures were conducted based on information gathering and reconnaissance on drug smuggling activities by MMEA headquarters’ intelligence division that were carrying out an operation in Muar’s waters.
“Based on the information, an MMEA patrol boat was despatched to the location and detected a suspicious unregistered fibreglass boat sailing at a position about 1.6 nautical miles south-east of Sungai Kesang in Muar,” Nurul Hizam said during a press conference at the Batu Pahat MMEA’s maritime zone office today.
Nurul Hizam said two suspects, who were aware of the MMEA operatives’ presence, then sped towards a nearby mangrove forest where they jumped off the boat and fled on foot.
He said an inspection of the boat found two pieces of black luggage containing the Chinese tea packets, that are believed to contain the syabu.
“Each luggage contained 19 packages and is estimated to weigh about 1kg each,” he said.
Nurul Hizam said the seized drugs were believed to have been brought in from northern states and were to be smuggled into Indonesia.
“The fibreglass boat, equipped with a 30 horsepower Yamaha engine, was also seized and towed to the Batu Pahat maritime zone jetty, along with the illicit drugs for further investigation.
“The entire drug seizure, including the fibreglass boat and engine, is estimated to be worth RM1.97 million.
“The case is being investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) 1952,” said Nurul Hizam.
Meanwhile, Nurul Hizam said the Johor MMEA managed to foil syabu smuggling activities this year with a total seizure worth RM6.05 million and weighing 121kg from January to September.
He said all the seizures were made at four locations in Muar’s waters and one in Sungai Pulai in Tanjung Pelepas.