Marine cops uncover contraband, alcohol in Brunei waters
A TOTAL of 11 offenders were caught having contraband in their possession during a marine operation conducted yesterday.
Caught with undeclared alcohol and cigarettes, the offence was only one of the 10 uncovered by the Marine Unit of the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) during the Ops Sepadu they conducted with seven other agencies yesterday.
In their effort to prevent the smuggling of contraband items, officials stopped all boats and ships passing through the three zones where the operations were carried out to conduct a thorough check.
The passengers were searched by the officials, checking their IDs as well as looking through their bags, which is how the officials discovered most of the offenders with illegal cigarettes.
Boxes that passengers brought on to the boats or ships were opened by the officials as well, to ensure that they did not contain prohibited items.
Storage spaces within the boats were also searched, to prevent any smuggling activities.
On one of the boats stopped during the Ops, the officials managed to find several hidden canned of beers after examining one of the storage spaces.
To ensure a smooth operation, the relevant agencies took the details of the offenders that were caught with prohibited items before letting them continue their journey.
This was to allow the relevant agencies with jurisdiction over the matter to take further action.
A press release from RBPF stated that the offences uncovered during the operations fell under the Customs Act and the Fisheries Act. Offenders in possessions of contrabands were charged under the Customs Act, while those fishing without a valid license were charged under the Fisheries Act.
The Royal Brunei Customs and Excise Department as the Fisheries Department were two of the seven agencies involved in the Ops Sepadu yesterday.
Other enforcement agencies that joined were the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN), Internal Security Department (ISD), Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Immigration and National Registration Department and the Enforcement Division under the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Yesterday’s operation was led by the Commanding Office of the Marine Police Unit, Superintendant Matusin Hj Jumat, and involved a total of about 100 officers from all the agencies.
It was carried out simultaneously in three zones; Sapo Point, Pulau Chermin and Putat.
The statement said that the operation yesterday aims to “detect, prevent and act” on any illegal activities conducted in Brunei waters.
A spokesperson from RBPF, said that marine operations are regularly conducted by RBPF as a way to prevent any smuggling activities, and at the same time reducing the number of illegal activities. He added that large-scale marine operations involving several agencies are normally carried out near to big national celebrations.
The Ops Sepadu yesterday was conducted in conjunction with the 68th birthday celebrations of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
The Brunei Times