KOTA TINGGI – The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) has detected the latest modus operandi of syndicates to smuggle goods and migrants with the assistance of drone technology.
Army Western Field Commander Lieutenant-General Datuk Muhammad Hafizuddeain Jantan said the tactic was to avoid getting arrested by the authorities patrolling in Malaysian waters under Op Benteng.
“Previously, smuggling syndicates use to sneak in from the midnight to wee hours but now, they have changed their modus operandi to avoid detection by the authorities.
“In fact, the reports received from units conducting special operation dubbed Op Merpati found the syndicates are using drones to track the movement of the security forces,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after inspecting Op Benteng operation in the Malaysian waters at the Tanjung Sepang Tactical Headquarters in Bandar Penawar, here today.
He, however, said the authorities would continue to monitor and had not taken any drastic actions such as shooting down drones identified by military radar.
Muhammad Hafizuddeain said the authorities detained 26 skippers, 1,252 migrants and seized various smuggled goods worth RM3.7 million in operations involving 220-kilometre coastal areas in Johor since May 16 last year.
He said the figure was a 200 per cent increase compared to the previous success rate before Op Benteng with integrated cooperation of all agencies.
Police station suspends operation
The Ampang Jaya police station meanwhile in an unrelated development, has suspended all operations dealing with the public from today until March 1 after 11 police personnel tested positive for COVID-19.
Ampang Jaya district police chief ACP Mohamad Farouk Eshak said a number of police personnel and civilian staff at the police station had been placed under home quarantine after the detection of the COVID-19 cases.
He said those who have police matters to attend to can go to the Hulu Klang, Malawati, Pandan Indah, Ukay Perdana and Pandan Perdana police stations.
“Matters like lodging police reports and applying for permission for inter-district or interstate travel can be done at nearby police stations. Let’s pray for the health and speedy recovery of frontliners infected with COVID-19,” he told Bernama when contacted today.
He said the affected police personnel were believed to have been infected by several detainees who tested positive for COVID-19.
However, the operations of other police stations within the Ampang Jaya district are not affected by this latest development.