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Fishermen play important role as MMEA ‘eyes and ears’

Fishermen play important role as MMEA ‘eyes and ears’

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), in collaboration with the Australian Border Force (ABF), held a special program aimed at educating the fishing community in Teluk Kumbar in playing an important role as the eyes and ears of the authorities to combat the crime of drug and human smuggling.

Penang MMEA director, Maritime Captain Abd Razak Mohamed said the fishermen have been providing intelligence information to the agency for a long time. However, today, Commander Ky Blackman from the ABF was brought in to share knowledge.

He said the fishing community plays an important role in providing intelligence information to the authorities to combat the crime of drug and human smuggling, for which Penang has always been used as a transit point.

“In addition, ABF also has a lot of information about this crime of smuggling and we need to continue to work with them to identify the ‘hotspot’ areas,” he told reporters after the Redback XVII Special Operation here today.

In addition, he said, the programme also aims to educate fishermen about safety when they are at sea and to distribute safety equipment to be used when they are at sea.

He said the fishermen are advised, among others, to bring a life jacket when going out to sea; make sure the boat is in a good condition; place their mobile phones in plastic wrap so they don’t get in the water, and inform the family before going out to sea. – Bernama