KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK): Sabah Marine Police crippled a major turtle egg smuggling syndicate after intercepting four pump boats which led to the seizure of 19,000 eggs in Sandakan.
State Marine Police chief Asst Comm Mohamad Madun said the seizure of turtle eggs with a street value exceeding RM30,000 (S$10,100) was the largest so far in Sabah.
He said the seizure was the result of a special Marine Police operation to nab turtle egg smugglers in the Sandakan area.
Mohamad said three Marine Police vessels were involved in the operation in waters near Sungai Batu 2 at about 1.30am on Saturday (July 16).
He said Marine Police personnel spotted four pump boats trying to speed off upon seeing the patrol vessels.
Mohamad said a 15-minute chase ensued resulting in the four vessels being seized and four boatmen aged between 21 and 49 years nabbed.
Also detained were eight suspected illegal immigrants between 17 and 63-years-old.
All are believed to be Filipino nationals who did not have any identification documents.
Mohamad said the four pump boat engines seized were worth about RM10,850.
In another development, Marine Police arrested two men aged 21 and 60 for suspected fish bombing activities in waters off Pulau Nunuyan at about 8.20am on Friday.
Mohamad said police recovered three bottles filled with chemicals and six detonators used for fish bombing.