Four Indonesians, one of whom was the operator of a boat seized, were arrested by the Negeri Sembilan and Melaka Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency while they were allegedly trying to enter the country illegally last Monday.

A fiberglass boat piloted by one man and carrying three passengers aged between 20 and 38 was intercepted 2.3 nautical miles from Tanjung Bidara Island, Melaka, at 11pm on March 18, the China Press reported.

Through the SWASLA Maritime Surveillance System, officers had taken note of a suspicious vessel with a powerful outboard engine and  which carried no registration number as it sailed from the waters of Rupat Island, Indonesia, into Melaka waters.

The boat operator was investigated under the Immigration Act 1959/1963 and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling Act 2007 (ATIPSOM), while the three passengers, all male and who had no identification documents, were held for investigation under the Immigration Act.

The four arrestees were handed over to the Immigration Department of Malaysia on Melaka, and are now being held at the Machap Umboo Immigration Detention Center in Alor Gajah.