Maritime authorities detain 51 Malaysians in Southern Palawan-A A +A
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY -– Fifty-one alleged undocumented Malaysian nationals were arrested Monday morning aboard two foreign vessels off Buliluyan Island, Balabac in Southern Palawan, by joint elements of the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group Special Boat Unit (MG-SBU) and the Naval Forces West (NFW).
Maritime authorities made the arrest at around 3:45 a.m. after intercepting their vessels, M/L Rancel, and another that has no bow name, near Buliluyan. Currently being detained are 33 females and 18 males -- all without passports and other documents that could help prove their identities and if their travels are legal.
Investigations made on the illegal entrants revealed they were from Kudat town in Sabah, East Malaysia, and were on their way to a pilgrimage in Mecca, a city in the Hejaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia.
In an interview with the media, NFW Commander Rostum Peña said the crewmen of the Malaysian vessels said they merely used the Palawan route to go to the Mecca. When authorities looked for their passports, the Malaysians said they were with their organizer who is still in Manila.
As of this posting, the Malaysian nationals are on their way to Puerto Princesa where they will be turned over to the Palawan Provincial Committee on Illegal Entrants (PCIE) for the filing of illegal entry charges. (PNA)