PORT KLANG: A 24-year-old woman, who is three months pregnant, risked her life by riding a leaking barter trade boat to exit the country illegally.
The woman was among 57 illegal immigrants from Indonesia detained by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), in an operation at 10.30pm yesterday, about one nautical mile from the North Port near here.
Recounting the experience, the woman, who boarded the boat with her husband and three-year-old son, said she did not know that there was a leak in the boat.
“My husband, my son and I left Klang for our village in Aceh, Indonesia, about 9pm. We panicked when we noticed water gushing into the boat while we were sailing,” she told reporters when met at the Klang MMEA office here today.
Selangor Maritime director Capt (Maritime) Mohd Rosli Abdullah said apart from the three, also detained were 13 women, 40 men, including a crew and two girls, all aged between three and 54.
Mohd Rosli said the barter trade boat tried to escape after being approached by a patrol boat, but was intercepted at one nautical mile from the North Port.
“Investigations revealed that the boat was leaking at the bottom, which could indirectly lead to untoward incidents. The boat may even have capsized,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohd Rosli said 268 illegal immigrants, who were entering and exiting the country using non-gazetted sea routes, from various countries were detained from January until today.