Don’t be lax on security, MMEA tells shipping firms

The recent robbery case involving a barge transporting 3,700 tonnes of palm oil worth RM18.5 million from Bintulu to Pulau Pinang should be taken as a lesson for shipping companies not be complacent.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Sarawak region chief First Admiral Ismaili Bujang Pit said robbers would take

full advantage of the lax situation to rob passing ships, especially in Singkawang, Indonesia waters.

“We (MMEA Sarawak region) have been in contact with the company. The company had in fact gone through the whole year last year without any incident,” said Ismaili at a press conference after the launching of the New Generation Patrol Craft (NGPC) KM Sri Aman at the Tun Salahuddin Maritime Complex here yesterday.

Prior to 2016, the company, he revealed, had been robbed twice in a year, which prompted MMEA to instruct them to inform the agency of their destination and locations each time they set sail so as to enable MMEA to monitor their location and provide the necessary security.

“Unfortunately, after feeling too comfortable, the company did not contact MMEA,” said Ismaili, adding that the case was now taken over and investigated by the MMEA southern region.

On another note, he also revealed that there is one company in Sarawak which is licensed by the state government to provide surveillance and security services for logistic companies.

He said a logistic company can employ these armed security personnel onboard their vessel to ensure the safe delivery of their cargo to the intended destination.

On a separate topic, MMEA director general Maritime Admiral Dato Indera Zulkifli Abu Bakar revealed that

MMEA Sarawak region had conducted a total of 27,046 checks in the state’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) since its establishment in 2006.

“A total of 1,034 arrests have also been made,” said Indera in his speech at the launch of KM Sri Aman which was graced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News