SEMPORNA, Sabah: Malaysia’s marine police detained nine people from Sintangkai, Philippines, for attempting to enter the country illegally via the waters of Sabah’s Pulau Sisipan on Sunday (Aug 18).
Sabah Region 4 marine police commander Mohamad Pajeri Ali said they acted based on information received by the marine intelligence unit (URM). The tip-off indicated that an orange boat operated by a man from Palau was bringing in eight passengers comprising six men and two women from the Philippines at 7am.
Those nabbed were aged between 16 and 65.
“Initial investigations found the eight passengers were entering the country for the first time after paying 3,000 Philippine pesos (US$57) each to the skipper,” Mohamad Pajeri said in a statement on Monday.
He added that marine police also seized the boat, an engine pump and the passengers’ belongings, including 1,570 pesos in cash.
“The seizures were made under Section 26A of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007,” he said.
Those found guilty of smuggling migrants could face a jail term of up to 15 years, a fine, or both under Malaysian law.