PUTRAJAYA (Feb 6, 2013): The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) managed to reduce the maritime crime rate in Malaysian waters by 45% in the eight years since its establishment.
Its deputy director-general (Operations), Datuk Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar, said after the first year of its operations, the maritime crime rate in 2006 was 48.6% and dropped each year to only3% last year.
“The drop in the maritime crime rates was due to intensified enforcement through more patrols, inspections and arrests made by MMEA,” he said.
Among the crimes often committed in Malaysian waters were smuggling in or out of goods and people as well as piracy and robbery on merchant ships plying the Straits of Malacca, he added.
The goods smuggled into the country included drugs, firearms, cigarettes, liquor, firecrackers, protected animals and clams, while among those smuggled out were subsidised goods such as sugar, cooking oil, petrol and diesel.
Ahmad Puzi said MMEA viewed seriously the threat of smuggling activities which meant socio-economic losses for Malaysia and its people.
“The government has allocated a big budget for subsidised petrol, diesel and other controlled items for the benefit of people in this country, but smugglers have taken advantage of this and make huge profits without working hard for it,” he said.
Ahmad Puzi said with increased patrolling and surveillance, MMEA busted 523 smuggling cases with RM23.8 million worth of contraband seized between 2006 and January 2013.
He said MMEA’s successes in its operations were also due to cooperation from other enforcement agencies. ‚Äì¬†Bernama