JOHOR BARU: An attempt by 41 Indonesians who had entered the country illegally to return home for the Hari Raya celebration was foiled when they were arrested by a Marine Operations Force team about 1.3 nautical miles from Tanjung Pengelih, Kota Tinggi, on Friday.
Also arrested were the skipper of the boat ferrying the Indonesians and his two assistants, who are also Indonesians.
A Marine Operations Force team on their Ops Octopus patrol in the area, became suspicious of the movements of a boat in the waters there.
Its Region 2 commander, ACP Mohd Khamsani Abd Rahman, said in a statement that the boat tried to flee but the team gave chase and intercepted it 20 minutes later.
“On checking, they found 28 men and 13 women in the boat as well as the skipper and his two assistants. All were Indonesian nationals aged 21 to 46 and they were without any valid travel document,” he said.
ACP Mohd Khamsani believed the boat had left an illegal jetty nearby and was on its way to Indonesia to take the Indonesians home for the Raya celebration.
They were taken to the Pengerang police station before being handed over to the Kota Tinggi police district headquarters. — The Star