Malaysia Arrests Two Indonesians over Boat Accident

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Malaysian authorities say they have arrested two Indonesian men connected to one of two boat accidents that have left 15 people dead and 27 others still missing.

Officials say 82 people have been rescued so far, in an ongoing search off western Malaysia after the boats sank in separate incidents last Wednesday.

The boats, both believed to be bound for the neighboring Indonesian island of Sumatra, were carrying illegal migrant workers returning home for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Selangor state’s head of criminal investigations, Adnan Abdullah, says police have detained two Indonesians believed to be the shipping agent and coordinator of the boat that sank off Port Klang with 97 people aboard.

He says the two men were being held under the anti-trafficking and smuggling of migrants act, but did not comment further.

Local media is reporting the men were arrested early Friday at a premise in Port Klang, Malaysia’s largest port. Both have valid travel documents.

Twelve men and three women have died, while 27 others remain missing, 20 from the first vessel that sank off Port Klang, and seven from the second that sank just south of the district of Sepang.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) spokesman Zuhri Mat Akhir told reporters the MMEA would continue their search and have dispatched boats and helicopters to comb the sea.

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