Boatman killed, 11 nabbed by Malaysian police in sea chase PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 May 2015 15:01

A Filipino boatman was killed and 11 others were arrested off Sandakan town in the state of Sabah, Malaysia on May 18 after Malaysian police chased a boat that was reportedly trying to sneak in job seekers from the Philippines, Malaysia’s The Star Only reported.

Quoting Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman, The Star said six police officers from the General Operations Force Tiger Platoon were patrolling off Berhala Island when they spotted a boat sailing in from Taganak Island in the southernmost Philippine province of Tawi-Tawi.

Abdul Rahman said the police officers gave chase after  the boat refused to stop and instead tried to speed away.

The boat then collided with the police seacraft and capsized, killing the boatman.

The Malaysian police officers were able to rescue 11 people from the capsized boat - four males and five females aged  between 12 and 25, and an infant. All of them were taken into custody.

The boatman’s body was also fished out of the seawater.

Sabah police, who chased the boat off the east coast of Sandakan, suspect it was trying to sneak in  undocumented workers from the Philippines, The Star reported.

It said the boat hit the police vessel and capsized, throwing everyone overboard.

Illegal recruiters and human traffickers regularly sneak Filipinos who are seeking jobs abroad. into Sabah. Sometimes the traffickers use Sabah as the jumping point in sending Filipinos to other countries in the Middle East.

The Philippine government has repeatedly warned Filipinos, especially females against traffickers who promise decent jobs in Malaysia, most of whom often end up in prostitution dens.

The Philippines’ Sea-Based Anti-Trafficking Task Force intercepts illegally recruited persons and human trafficking victims at least once in two months in the port of Zamboanga City where they attempt to board a ferry to Sabah, Malaysia.

The task force’s operatives in Tawi-Tawi also keep watch on illegals trying to enter Sabah, Malaysia by small boats locally called Junkung.

Malaysia’s crackdown against illegals results in the deportation of hundreds of Filipinos at least twice year. The latest deportees numbering 240 arrived in Zamboanga City aboard a ferry Friday from Sandakan.