Tanker engineer arrested for suspected drug abuse in Malaysia

MMEA Mersing zone chief maritime commander Haris Fadzillah Abdullah (C) during a press conference. Credit: Bernama/The Sun Daily

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) officers arrested a marine engineer for suspected drug abuse after receiving a report from a tanker’s captain.

MMEA director (Malacca and Negeri Sembilan) Haris Fadzillah Abdullah said, “After receiving the captain’s report, at 1730 local time on 7 January 2020, the agency’s officers raided the commercial vessel and arrested the 36-year-old suspect, who works as a gas engineer on the tanker. We also discovered what is believed to be apparatus for drug taking.”

At the time, the tanker, which was not named, was anchored in waters off Malacca. The suspected drug-taking apparatus was seized as part of investigations.

Haris said that the engineer is suspected of abusing ‘ice’, a kind of methamphetamine also known as crystal meth.

The MMEA commended the captain for his actions and urged all seafarers to inform the authorities if they come across suspicious or illegal activities.

Haris said, “The suspect in this case has been handed over to the National Anti-Drug Agency for further investigations.”

The Malaysian police has been struggling to get drug abuse under control, with even its own officers being apprehended for drug taking.

Crystal meth is the most commonly used of drugs, with a record amount of the methamphetamine seized in 2018.

The National Anti-Drug Agency estimates that there were 25,267 drug addicts in Malaysia in 2018, slightly down from 2017.