: The Region Two Marine Operations Force (MOF) detained 69 Indonesian illegal immigrants, including a skipper, at Pulau Merambong, Tanjung Kupang, here, Saturday.
Its commander, ACP Paul Khiu Khon Chiang said the immigrants, comprising 52 men and 17 women aged between 18 and 50,including the skipper, in his 40s, were believed to be trying to sneak out of the country.
"Earlier, the boat which was heading from Tanjung Adang towards Indonesian waters was detected by an MPF patrol boat in waters off Pulau Merambong, at about 4.30am.
"The MPF patrol boat then went after the boat and after about half an hour chase, the latter changed course to Pulau Merambong before it entered shallow waters and was stranded, " he said in a statement Sunday.
Shiu said the immigrants attempted to flee, but were apprehended by MOF personnel.
The immigrants and the boat, with three engines, were then brought to the Tampoi MOF for further investigation, he added.