MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Local fishermen helping human traffickers, says Hamzah


Hamzah Zainudin at the Langkawi seafront. He said local fishermen were being advised not to work with the syndicates. (Bernama pic)

LANGKAWI: Some fishermen in Langkawi are believed to be working with a syndicate smuggling illegal immigrants to the resort island from a neighbouring country.

Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin said the home ministry had received a tip-off on the matter and based on the information, the syndicate bringing in illegal immigrants into the country was only waiting for the right time to enter Malaysian waters.

“Intelligence found that a handful of local fishermen are working with the syndicate.

“They are traitors for cooperating with the syndicate in the middle of the sea to smuggle in illegal immigrants using their boats,” he told a media conference after carrying out an inspection on compliance with the movement control order SOPs here.

Also joining the visit were agriculture and food industries minister Ronald Kiandee; immigration director-general Dzaimee Daud; Malaysian maritime enforcement agency (MMEA) director-general Mohd Zubil Mat Som; and Kedah police chief Kamarul Zaman Mamat.

Hamzah said he had ordered police, MMEA and the National Task Force to assist in containing the entry of illegal immigrants into the country.

“Before this, they used large boats but now they have changed their strategy by staying in small islands to observe the movement of the authorities.

“They will wait for the right time and when there is no patrol, the syndicate will start moving them a few at a time using the boats brought in by the syndicate … and upon reaching the country’s waters, there are people waiting to take them … this is what they are doing now,” he said.

Hamzah said he also held meetings with several fishermen association chairmen as well as fishermen themselves to provide information and advised them against getting involved in the crime which could destroy them and the country.

“We are not only giving basic food aid to the fishermen community, we also want them to be aware that they are committing crimes with their actions,” he said.

He said apart from smuggling humans, the syndicate is also involved in trafficking drugs. - FMT

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