KOTA KINABALU: Five men – a local and four foreigners – were nabbed while attempting to smuggle 4,080kg of subsidised cooking oil in Lahad Datu on Tuesday night (April 5).

Lahad Datu zone Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said it also confiscated a cargo boat, two lorries carrying the 240 boxes of cooking oil and two motorcycles used by the smugglers, bringing the total estimated value of seizure to RM234,096.

The raid was conducted at Kem Silam fishermen’s jetty at 10.15pm based on a public tip-off, the district MMEA said in a statement on Wednesday (April 6).

“The suspects, aged between 20 and 50, were in the midst of moving the boxes containing the cooking oil from the lorries to the boat, believed intended to be smuggled into a neighbouring country, when they were discovered.

“Based on the subsidised cooking oil quota for purchase permitted for each household which is 2kg at one time, this illegal activity almost impacted 2,040 families in Sabah, and Lahad Datu district in particular,” it said.

All suspects and seized goods were handed over to the maritime investigating officer for further investigations.