2 foreign vessels with North Borneans intercepted in Palawan

Map of Sabah, North Borneo, the Old Sultanate of Sulu territory. Map credit by Google Map

The Maritime Special Boat Unit of the Philippine National Police in Palawan intercepted Monday morning two unregistered foreign vessels carrying 51 North Borneans (Malaysian) nationals.

The two foreign vessels were intercepted at 3:45 a.m. near the island of Buliluyan in Balabac, southern Palawan in a joint operation of the Philippine Navy and the US-funded Naval Boat Unit, Governor Abraham Kahlil told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, citing reports from the Naval Forces West.

The two boats, one of which had the identification ML Rancel indicating they were Malaysians, were carrying 21 females and eight males.  All the passengers had no sufficient travel documents, the Naval Forces West report said.

Naval Forces West Commander, Commander Rostum Peña, in a local radio interview Monday, said the Malaysian vessels came from the city of Kudat in North Borneo, Sabah State, a territory of the old Sultanate of Sulu which now under control by Malaysian Government and were bound for Buliluyan Island.

Pena said they were looking into reports that the passengers were bound for another destination outside Palawan.

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