Four crew members and 35 passengers were rescued, Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Hermono stated here on Tuesday.
"Ten bodies were found, while the remaining are still missing. The ship departed from Batu Bara District, North Sumatra," Hermono noted.
Based on information from Malaysian fishermen, Hermono noted that on December 25, at around 10:00 local time, three Malaysian fishing boats found the ill-fated ship and spotted about 20 people at the scene.
The victims were then handed over to an Indonesian ship passing through the waters to be brought to Indonesia. According to the fishermen, some of the victims were already dead.
Based on this information, on December 27, the Selangor Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) contacted the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to immediately follow up on the case in coordination with the Malaysian authority.
"Following the incident, the Selangor APMM also conducted patrols around the scene and found a floating body suspected to be one of the victims of the sinking ship. Currently, the body has been handed over to the Sekinchan Police for a post-mortem examination," he added.
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The APMM continues to search for other victims and will inform the Indonesian Embassy if any other victims are found.
"The police attaché of the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur continues to coordinate with the National Police Headquarters, the North Sumatra Police, and the Tanjung Balai Navy Base to investigate and find the perpetrators of people smuggling to Malaysia," he emphasized.
Hermono has appealed to the public to steer clear of using illegal routes.
On Dec 15, a boat carrying around 60 Indonesians seeking to illegally enter Malaysia capsized owing to stormy weather off the coast of Tanjung Balau, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
At least 11 people, seven men, and four women had died, while 27 people were still missing. The vessel reportedly set off from Karimun District, Riau Islands.
The APMM evacuated the capsized boat and rescued 20 men and two women.
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Translator: Agus Setiawan, Sri Haryati
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