8 Indonesians nabbed in Malaysia for trying to smuggle sand to Singapore

KOTA TINGGI - A tugboat and a barge and their crew of eight Indonesians have been detained by the maritime authorities for smuggling sand in Pengerang waters, here.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said the vessels were spotted during a routine patrol 3.4 nautical miles south of Teluk Ramunia at 10.15am on Wednesday.

The agency's Tanjung Sedili enforcement chief Maritime Capt Amran Daud said the foreign-registered tugboat and barge were carrying about 145 tonnes of sand from Kuantan to Singapore.

"Checks on the Batam-registered tugboat TB Buana Superior and barge Buana Ocean 05 also found eight Indonesian crewmen including the captain aged between 21 and 38.

"The crewmen have been brought to the MMEA's Tanjung Sedili base for further investigations," he said in a statement here on Thursday.

Capt Amran added that the case would be investigated under the Customs Act 1967 for smuggling taxable goods, which carries a fine of up to 10 times the value of the goods, upon conviction.