GEORGE TOWN, Feb 7 (NNN-BERNAMA) — Marine police in the northern state of Penang on Monday foiled an attempt to smuggle in 8.5 tonnes of processed nipah leaves worth RM60,000 to Weld Quay here from Indonesia.
Penang Marine Police Acting Commander, Supt Dimin Awang said the police, acting on a tip, raided a merchant vessel which was about to berth at the quay here around 5pm.
Upon inspection of the vessel, which had on board eight Indonesian crew members, it was found that it had no documents allowing it to carry the RM60,000 worth of nipah leaves on board.
The nipah leaves were due to be delivered to Weld quay.
At a press conference here on Wednesday, police said they found 63 large boxes and 474 sacks on the vessel filled with nipah leaves. The leaves were wrapped in canvases and ready to be rolled as cigarettes.
According to him, the merchant vessel, ‘KM Rezeki Bersama’ was awaiting the arrival of an agent to complete the sale of the nipah leaves before downloading the goods in Weld.
Dimin said police arrested all the eight men while the seized goods were taken to the marine police headquarters in Batu Uban to facilitate further action as they had failed to produce any document or import permit from the relevant authorities.
Further investigation found that the vessel had sailed from Pengkalan Dodek, Indonesia and that all the Indonesian crew aged from 30 to 55 had travel documents.
The case is being investigated under Section 11(1) of the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Act 2011.