JOHOR BAHRU,. The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) found no evidence of a boat, carrying 10 illegal immigrants, sinking near Batu Puteh at a position 9.5 nautical miles, southeast of Tanjung Penyusop in Kota Tinggi.
Johor MMEA director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said the Johor Bahru Maritime Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) received a report from an Indonesian national claiming that the boat he was in together with nine others had sunk at 4 am yesterday.
Nurul Hizam said a search and rescue operation (Op Carilamat) was activated at 4.05 am with a ship and patrol boat being deployed to the location. However, until 7.30 pm yesterday, no evidence was found (boat sinking). The search was carried out covering an area of 26.52 square miles.
“In fact, the Singaporean and Indonesian authorities have not reported any incident of a boat sinking as received by the Johor MRSC,” he said in a statement last night.
Operation Carilamat ended at 7.30 pm, however, monitoring will continue to be carried out by maritime assets that is involved in enforcement patrols at sea, he said.
Nurul Hizam at the same time said his team did not rule out the possibility that it was a prank call and explained that it was working with the Indonesian police and consulate to track down the individual who made the report.
Meanwhile, the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Johor Bahru announced in a statement that it received information about the incident from the MMEA at 10.11 am.