24th June, 2012
SEIZED… Thousands of packets of sugar and cooking oil onboard the jongkong
TAWAU: The high price of sugar in Indonesia has set the motion for smugglers to cash in on the situation in the neighbouring country.
But Malaysian authorities are prepared for any attempts to smuggle out the controlled item and other essential goods like cooking oil from the country.
Yesterday, the district Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) seized a jongkong (wooden cargo vessel) bound for Indonesia after it was found carrying 1,920kg of sugar and 680kg of cooking oil.
Tawau MMEA enforcement chief Cmdr Azman Samsudin said the vessel was fully loaded with the controlled goods when it was stopped in the district waters.
The authorities believed the vessel was heading to Sungai Haji Kuning, Sebatik Island in Indonesia.
Two men including the 20-year-old skipper and a 46-year-old Indonesian woman were nabbed after they could not account for the cooking oil and sugar, which have seen an increase in the number of smuggle attempts.
The goods were brought to the district maritime office before being handed over to customs for further action.
Azman urged the public to inform them at 089-750115 if they know of any smuggling attempt.
Recently, the Indonesian government raised the price of white sugar to 7,000 rupiah per kg from 6,350 rupiah. Indonesia is also Southeast Asia’s largest sugar buyer.