Skipper abandons boat laden with contraband cigs worth $28,000

KOTA KINABALU - Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) enforcement personnel seized cigarettes worth about RM87,300 (S$28,025) late Wednesday after a boat skipper jumped into the sea near Tawau and abandoned his boat to flee from them.

The MMEA seized the 890 cartons of cigarettes during the incident at 11.15pm, said Tawau MMEA assistant director of operations Lieutenant Commander Ahmad Firdaus Shaari.

He added that the cigarettes were believed to have been smuggled into Malaysia from a neighbouring country

"All the items and the boat were seized but the skipper managed to escape," he said in a statement here Thursday.

He added that prior to the discovery, a team on patrol spotted the boat in the dark acting in a suspicious manner.

The case will be investigated under the Customs Act 1967.

Ahmad said the MMEA would carry out patrols and continuous operations to curb smuggling activities in the state.