Some of the foreign workers get off the boats which were stopped by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) in Inderasabah waters. Pic courtesy of MMEA

TAWAU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has intensified security and sea patrols here, stopping six traditional cargo boats with 111 foreign workers on board in Inderasabah waters yesterday.

The boats were sailing in pairs at 8.15am when a maritime enforcement team on patrol duty stopped them.

District MMEA director Captain Romli Mustafa said all passengers on board including the skippers were aged between 12 and 65.

"They are foreigners, who worked at a 'bagang' (fishing structure at sea). They were heading to Inderasabah with anchovies as well as 'bagang' tools when we detained them.

"Upon further inspection, 59 of the passengers have valid identity documents so we released them. Another 52 people were detained for failing to show their documents," he told reporters, today.

Romli said all detainees were taken to the maritime office and handed over to the Immigration department for further action.

He also urged the people, especially the maritime community to be the eyes and ears of the agency.

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